Take a break and let’s put our eyes on the future: as soon as Rep. Tom Price resigns to take his position in Trump’s cabinet (assuming that happens), there will be a seat up for grabs in the House, coming from Georgia’s 6th District, which includes some suburbs of Atlanta. Georgia requires that a special election is held 30 days after Price’s resignation, so we do not yet know the exact date, but I figured let’s get it on our radar because this seat is considered competitive! We will have a few special elections on the horizon.
As we know, every seat counts, so it is in the nation’s best interest to get a Democrat elected and motivate the Democrats in the area to vote. We have a 47 seat disadvantage in the House and we need to start chipping away at that.
About This Election:
Special elections typically have very low turnout, so technically they are always competitive if one party can just get its voters mobilized. While there was no significant change in the numbers electing Tom Price (64% in 2012, and 61% in 2016), the state is very anti-Trump, which some analysts believe is largely rooted in the suburbs of Atlanta. For example, in 2012 Georgia went 53% for Romney, while only going 51% for Trump in 2016. That’s a big difference for a presidential election.
There are currently three Democratic candidates and three Republican candidates declared in the race. The Democrats are Jon Ossoff, Ron Slotin, and Sally Harrell.
Georgia runs all candidates on one ballot, and if no one gets over 50% of the vote, there will be a runoff. Here in Louisiana, we are familiar with this style of election. What this means is that we need to support the Democrat that is most likely to eat into the Republicans’ votes, so no Republican gets that 50%.
Jon Ossoff is a former Congressional staffer, and a documentary filmmaker (the CEO of Insight TWI: The World Investigates, which investigates political corruption). He also has been endorsed by Rep. John Lewis, who is tremendously popular in the Atlanta area.
I am not qualified to tell you who the front-runner is, but I personally am most impressed by Jon Ossoff (and his ties to John Lewis are important).
Ron Slotin is a former state senator and a local business owner. Most importantly, he was instrumental in the passage of Georgia’s HOPE scholarship, which has helped over 1.4 million Georgia students gain access to higher education.
He has been a private citizen (not a senator) since 1996, when he chose not to seek reelection to run for the House instead.
Sally Harrell is also a former state rep, serving in Georgia’ House of Representatives for six years (1999-2005). She has a background in social work, and has taken time off to home school her children.
Her special focus is healthcare, and she is staunchly pro-Affordable Care act.
What should we do?
If you’re in the district, VOTE! If you’re near the district, volunteer for some boots on the ground turnout efforts for Democrats. If you’re far away, donate and volunteer to phone bank.