Candidates face off in Ga. congressional debate

Gladys Abbott
June 7, 2017

President Donald Trump has tweeted out multiple messages since the April runoff, calling Ossoff a "disaster" for the country.

The two were pressed on where they would break from their parties' most recent presidents.

Because Georgia's Sixth Congressional District, located in the suburbs of Atlanta, only voted for Trump by a one-point margin in November, the race is seen as Democrats' best chance to flip a congressional seat before the 2018 midterm elections.

The two rivals are scheduled to meet Tuesday in their first televised debate, two weeks ahead of a June 20 election that has garnered national attention and an avalanche of spending.

"Every federal special election since the beginning of time has a federal component to it".

Ossoff also said he supports a livable wage and believes minimum wage should be raised based on cost of living.

Handel welcomed Trump for an April fundraiser, and the President sent a fundraising email on her behalf.

But an Ossoff victory would rattle Washington along the lines of Republican Scott Brown's 2010 victory in a MA special Senate election.

The victor will replace Republican Tom Price, who's now Trump's health secretary. She said multiple times that Ossoff's values do not represent the district, but "come from 3,000 miles away, in San Francisco", referring to campaign contributions received from outside the state of Georgia.

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One topic Ossoff diligently avoided: Trump.

First, Handel downplayed her personal role - similarly to the way she pushed back in her debate with Ossoff.

Ossoff didn't answer directly at all until a moderator followed up, asking for a yes or no.

Ossoff had challenged Handel to six debates, and Handel presented four dates, including the CNN debate. "I was part of (the) decision-making process", Handel told the reporter, "but I was not the sole decider".

There are a few other factors beside national trends and Trump's travails working in the Democrats' favor in the Georgia-6th District race. "Everyone's looking for national implications, but all politics is local".

"If you're Jon Ossoff, you're already getting the benefit of being anti-Trump", Lake said, adding that it makes sense for Ossoff to "reap the benefits but not have to make it a defining theme of your campaign so that you don't alienate people that you don't need to alienate".

Handel and Ossoff had differing interpretations of the GOP's American Health Care Act and clashed over the efforts going on in congress to repeal and replace Obamacare.

"Part of bringing fresh leadership and accountability to Washington is to openly and publicly debate the issues that matter most to Georgians, and I hope Secretary Handel accepts these debates", Ossoff said in May.

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