Jon Ossoff

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.

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.

On a recent Sunday afternoon, dozens of volunteers crammed into a small Jon Ossoff for Congress field office in Chamblee, Ga. They were there to canvass for the 30-year-old political newcomer, but they also got a treat: a speech from Ossoff himself. He only spoke for about four minutes, but he devoted almost a minute of it to women in particular.

David Goldman / AP Photo

Earlier this month, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law sued Georgia to extend voter registration in the congressional race for the 6th District. The group successfully extended the deadline, but now they want to permanently change Georgia law to reflect federal law. We talk about the controversy with Chris Joyner of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Watchdog column and Julie Houk with LCCRUL.

speaker.gov/COURTESY OF KAREN HANDEL FOR CONGRESS

Today on “Political Rewind,” fasten your seatbelts for another jam-packed day of political news! There was much comment over the weekend following President Trump's tweets about fired FBI Director James Comey. We're following the latest reaction.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Judge Orders Georgia To Extend Voter Registration For 6th District Runoff

May 4, 2017
USAF

A federal judge has ordered Georgia officials to reopen voter registration in a suburban Atlanta congressional district ahead of a runoff in a heated special election.

Georgia set the registration deadline for March 20, which was 30 days before special election in April.

US Chamber Endorses Karen Handel In Special Election

Apr 26, 2017
Courtesy of Karen Handel for Congress

Republican Karen Handel has scored a key endorsement in her high-profile congressional campaign against Democrat Jon Ossoff.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce confirmed Tuesday it will put its muscle behind Handel ahead of a June 20 runoff in Georgia's 6th Congressional District that covers northern suburbs of Atlanta.

Chamber officials didn't say how much they'll spend on Handel's behalf, but the organization's endorsement usually precedes a heavy media blitz. The race is widely viewed as a potential preview of the 2018 midterm elections.

The political battle over Georgia’s 6th District could become the most expensive House race in history.

Last week, Democrat Jon Ossoff just missed an outright win in a special election to replace now-Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. He faces Republican Karen Handel in a June 20 runoff that’s drawn the money and attention of both national parties, and has been called an electoral test for President Trump.

shadowbright3 / Flickr

A coalition of civil rights groups is challenging a Georgia law that doesn't allow new voters to register before the closely watched runoff election in the 6th Congressional District.

The Washington, D.C.-based Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law filed a federal lawsuit Thursday in Atlanta on behalf of the groups.

The registration deadline was March 20.

John Bazemore / AP Photo

Today on “Political Rewind,” and then there were two. Another election is in store on June 20 to determine a winner for the 6th District congressional seat. Democrat Jon Ossoff came extremely close to an outright win, but now faces Republican Karen Handel in a head-to-head challenge that is likely to be even bloodier as the GOP closes ranks. Everyone wants this seat, including President Trump.

If you thought it was odd that a special election in the Atlanta suburbs got so much national attention, you haven't seen anything yet.

So far, much of the focus has been on Democrat Jon Ossoff — and with good reason. The Democratic base rallied around him and made the election a referendum on President Trump.

Updated at 2:08 a.m.

Republicans escaped a potentially brutal loss on Tuesday night — for now — by forcing a runoff in a closely watched Georgia special congressional election.

Democrat Jon Ossoff would fall just short of the 50 percent needed to win outright in the crowded 18-way all-party primary, the Associated Press projected early Wednesday. Ossoff, a 30-year-old documentary filmmaker and former congressional staffer, instead will face off against Republican and former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel on June 20.

UPDATE: Jon Ossoff Falls Below Majority Threshold

Apr 18, 2017
John Bazemore / AP Photo

12 a.m.

Democrat Jon Ossoff has dropped below the majority vote he needs to avoid a runoff in Georgia's nationally watched special congressional election.

Late Tuesday, upstart Ossoff fell under the 50 percent threshold required to win the 18-candidate primary outright in Georgia's 6th Congressional District. If he falls short, he'd likely face Republican Karen Handel in a June 20 runoff.

Trump, GOP Face Referendum In Georgia; Dems Aim For Upset

Apr 18, 2017
Alex Sanz / AP Photo

UPDATE: Steady Pace For Voting In Georgia's 6th District

2:40 p.m.

Georgia voters continue to stream into polling sites in the suburbs north of Atlanta to cast their ballots in the special election to fill the 6th Congressional District seat.

Polls opened at 7 a.m. Tuesday and will stay open until 7 p.m. Local election officials have reported steady turnout all day, and state officials have received few reports of problems.

Republicans are trying to prevent a political tremor from happening Tuesday night just north of Atlanta that would be a blow to President Trump and a boon to the rising Democratic opposition to him.

UPDATE: Trump Goes After Jon Ossoff; Ossoff Responds

Apr 17, 2017

President Donald Trump is attacking the leading Democratic candidate running in a special election in a conservative Georgia congressional district.

On Twitter Monday, Trump said the "The super Liberal Democrat in the Georgia Congressioal race tomorrow wants to protect criminals, allow illegal immigration and raise taxes!"

Democrats in Georgia's 6th District aren't exactly used to the fact that they might actually win something.

"It's just so wonderful to have a potential for a progressive Democrat to capture the district, and to send a message that we don't approve of the Trump agenda and the direction he's taking the country in," Bruce Johnson said as he gathered at Jon Ossoff's campaign office on Saturday morning to begin knocking on doors ahead of Tuesday's vote.

Photo Courtesy of Jon Ossoff

A Republican super PAC is paying for attack ads against a Democratic candidate in the Sixth District race. One ad claims Jon Ossoff’s ties to media outlet Al Jazeera link him to terrorism and anti-Western ideologies. We talk about the ethics of campaign ads with Andra Gillespie, Professor of Political Science at Emory University.

In the first special congressional election since President Trump took office, a Republican candidate won a narrower-than-expected victory in a district Trump easily carried less than six months ago.

A special election in Kansas on Tuesday has Republicans sounding worried about an enthusiasm gap in the Trump era.

Trump himself was apparently worried enough that he cut a robo call for Republican state party Treasurer Ron Estes.

Updated: Tues., 4/11/17, 9:50 a.m. ET

Democrats are hoping to prove that the growing opposition to President Trump is very real with an upset in one — or possibly even two — upcoming special congressional elections.

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