Jon Ossoff: Hero to Zero
Democratic congressional candidate Jon Ossoff within 24 hours has gone from being praised and promoted to being doubted and criticized.
Ossoff is the Democratic candidate hoping to represent Georgia’s sixth congressional district, a position that was vacated when Tom Price left to become President Donald Trump’s health and human services secretary. Democrats were almost universally united behind Ossoff while several Republicans split the vote.
Prior to Tuesday’s election, Ossoff received high praise from Democrats and even from some in the media. Democrats have pinned much of their hopes on the 30-year old documentary filmmaker, believing his victory would send a message to Trump and Republicans.
Ossoff’s campaign website confirms this sentiment, reading: “We don’t have to wait until 2018–or 2020–to fight back against Donald Trump. Jon Ossoff’s special election is the FIRST competitive congressional race of the Trump era.”
In order to win the special election, a candidate needed to break 50 percent or else the top two candidates would move on to a runoff election. Ossoff received the most votes at 48.1 percent, while GOP candidate Karen Handel came in second with 19.8 percent. Ossoff and Handel will face off in a June runoff election.
With Ossoff unable to secure an outright victory, some Democrats have expressed frustration and regret with Ossoff being their candidate.
Actress and Democratic activist Alyssa Milano personally campaigned for Ossoff by driving voters to the polls. As results poured in along with the possibility of Ossoff breaking 50 percent, she tweeted out that she wanted to puke.
I want to puke.
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) April 19, 2017
The next morning, MSNBC reported that Democrats were upset with Ossoff’s campaign for “blowing” $8 million on television ads rather than on a ground game. A New York Times reporter said his inbox was full of Democrats calling Ossoff a “terrible candidate.”
To make matters worse for Ossoff, former Democratic presidential candidate and grassroots favorite Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) said he doesn’t know if Ossoff is a progressive.