Jon Ossoff

On this special edition of Political Rewind, we look back at the year in politics. From new leadership in Atlanta to the fight for a new governor of Georgia and an expensive fight for a congressional seat. There was also President Trump, tax reform, health care reform, the Mueller Russia investigation, the resignation of one Georgian from the president’s cabinet and the firing of another, plus the #MeToo movement that sent tremors through Washington. All were big stories in 2017, but which ranked as the biggest according to our panel?

Georgia Election Server Wiped After Suit Filed

Oct 26, 2017
Alex Sanz / AP Photo

A computer server crucial to a lawsuit against Georgia election officials was quietly wiped clean by its custodians just after the suit was filed, The Associated Press has learned.

David Goldman / AP Photo

On today’s "Political Rewind" we look at where the GOP race for governor stands in these early days of the contest. A new poll shows Lt. Governor Casey Cagle with a significant lead. But the poll reveals a surprising result in the battle for second place.

Georgia's Win List

Today on “Political Rewind,” in the aftermath of the Las Vegas massacre, both Democratic candidates for governor say they support action to curb gun abuses. How will that play with conservative Georgia voters?

Then, we look at the first face-off between those candidates, Stacey Abrams and Stacey Evans, which took place at the Carter Center Monday night.

Alex Sanz / AP Photo/File

Georgia's electronic touchscreen voting system is so riddled with problems that the results of the most expensive House race in U.S. history should be tossed out and a new election held, according to a lawsuit filed by a government watchdog group and six Georgia voters.

Some activists in Georgia were having flashbacks.

"It's like reliving November, right?" said Georgia resident Jessica Zeigler about Democrat Jon Ossoff's loss to Republican Karen Handel in the state's closely watched special election last week.

Republican Handel Wins Georgia House Seat In Key Contest

Jun 20, 2017
John Bazemore / AP Photo

Republican Karen Handel has won a nationally watched congressional election in Georgia, avoiding an upset that would have rocked Washington ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

Updated at 1:20 p.m. ET on June 21

Republican Karen Handel has won the costly and closely watched special congressional election in Georgia's 6th District, a blow to Democratic hopes of pulling off an upset in a district that President Trump only narrowly carried last year.

The former Georgia secretary of state won by almost 4 points, beating Jon Ossoff, a 30-year-old documentary filmmaker and former congressional staffer — 51.9 percent to 48.1 percent.

David Goldman / AP Photo

10:30 a.m.

A spokeswoman for Georgia's top election official says voting in the state's closely-watched 6th District is going smoothly but some issues have been reported.

Two voting locations in DeKalb County had the wrong equipment used to check voters in. Workers had to use paper lists as a backup.

Secretary of State spokeswoman Candice Broce said some voters were told to use provisional ballots. She wasn't sure how many people were given those directions.

The long-awaited special election in Georgia is finally happening.

On Tuesday, people will head to the polls to cast their votes for either Democrat Jon Ossoff or Republican Karen Handel in the sixth congressional district special election in the Atlanta suburbs to replace Republican Tom Price. Price left his seat to become President Trump's health and human services secretary.

Researcher Finds Georgia Voter Records Exposed On Internet

Jun 15, 2017
Alex Sanz / AP Photo/File

A security researcher disclosed a gaping security hole at the outfit that manages Georgia's election technology, days before the state holds a closely watched congressional runoff vote on June 20.

The security failure left the state's 6.7 million voter records and other sensitive files exposed to hackers, and may have been left unpatched for seven months. The revealed files might have allowed attackers to plant malware and possibly rig votes or wreak chaos with voter rolls during elections.

The Shifting Demographics Of Cobb County

Jun 15, 2017
David Goldman / AP Photo

Cobb County is the last metro county in Georgia with a white majority. But it’s expected to become "majority minority"—more than 50 percent non-white residents—in the next four years. Politically, the reliably Republican county is shifting to largely Democratic, and may flip in the upcoming 6th Congressional District election. We talk about the changing electorate in Cobb with Andra Gillespie, Political Science Professor at Emory University.

Sam Whitehead / GPB

Last Saturday in the 6th District, with just a few weeks to go before election day, a modest crowd gathered at a soccer field in Sandy Springs.

 

People lounged on blankets in the blistering sun sipping iced coffee, fanned themselves in the shade along the field’s edges, paid half-attention to the band playing jangly music up on stage.

 

“Thank you all for being here to rock your Ossoff!” the band’s leader called out to close their set.

 

Georgia's 6th Congressional District in the suburbs north of Atlanta was once held by former Speaker Newt Gingrich. Its most recent occupant, HHS Secretary Tom Price, resigned to join President Trump's Cabinet.

Both Republicans and Democrats see the June 20 special election to replace Price as a possible bellwether of what's to come in 2018.

And they are spending.

Nearly $30 million has been raised by the candidates and outside groups in a race that now comes down to two finalists: 30-year-old Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel, 55.

A special congressional election in the Atlanta suburbs won't be decided until June 20, but there's already a clear winner: local TV stations.

Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff face each other in a runoff that's become a referendum on President Trump, and with a month to go, the House race is already the most expensive in U.S. history.

So far, the candidates and outside groups are on track to spend at least $30 million just on TV ads.

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