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Steve Bannon closely following 6th District race, report says

WASHINGTON -- We've written pretty much non-stop about how Georgia's 6th District congressional race has become a nationalized free-for-all, complete with appearances from Han Solo, elephants donning pearls and the lady from the 1990s television hit "Charmed."

But this nugget from the newest issue of New York magazine shows just how closely-watched this contest truly is:

And so Republicans are watching, including rather powerful ones. “Ossoff running smart campaign,” Steve Bannon, the president’s chief strategist, told me in a text. A White House official close to him said he’s preoccupied with what’s happening some 600 miles south of Pennsylvania Avenue.

 “It’s something that I’m tracking specifically for Bannon,” the official said, “and keeping an eye on, following all the polls, following the kind of narrative out there — so it’s definitely something we’re paying attention to and the political department’s paying attention to as well.”

The race, of course, is being viewed as an early referendum on Donald Trump's young presidency, so it makes sense that the White House is paying attention. The administration is formally staying out of the race for now, but Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski recently endorsed Bruce LeVell, the businessman who once headed the president's diversity coalition.

Perhaps the real stunner in all of this is that Democratic front-runner Jon Ossoff has won the admiration of Bannon, the operative who once ran the populist Breitbart News Network.

Read more: Trump won’t endorse yet in Georgia special election – but a top ally will

The fight over Tom Price’s seat could be a referendum on Trump

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About the Author

Tamar Hallerman is The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Washington correspondent, covering Congress, federal agencies and other government activities that impact Georgia.