John Ossoff lost the first high-profile race of the Trump era. Can he win last?

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ATLANTA – John Osoff is ending the Trump era the way he started it: as a young Democrat unexpectedly at the center of the political universe.

He lost his first run for office in June 2017, but the stakes were largely symbolic back then. This time, some say, the fate of the country and even the world, is hanging in the balance over what will be the final election of the Trump era. no pressure.

“John ended an incredibly expensive and highly publicized race four years ago,” said Atlanta City Council member Matt Westmoreland, a Democrat. “And now he has found himself in the race with higher stakes and more money because the Senate has control over the stakes.”

In the indefinite early months of Donald Trump’s presidency, Ausoff, 30, captured progressive hearts – and dollars – in a special election to flip Newt Gingrich’s old congressional seat, the most expensive in history House became the race and the first real bellweather. Political trends that will come to define the era.

Now, he is running for the Senate in one of two January runaways in Georgia that “will determine the direction of his country for the next 50 to 100 years,” according to his Republican opponent, Sen. David Perdue. If the Democrats win both seats, they will end the Trump era by voting Vice-President Kamala Harris into the Senate.

It would also be a signal for Ossoff, whose defeat in the House race led to the establishment of a familiar circular firing squad among Democrats. Some in the party wondered if they had wasted precious money hoping to win a House seat in a heavily Republican district.

Republicans, who expect the result to be the same this time, have not lost the Senate election in Georgia since 2000.

“Only a trust fund Socialist can spend his 30s trying to run for office with zero real-life accomplishments,” said Jesse Hunt, communications director for the National Republican Sanatorial Committee. It all started with Ossoff losing a high-profile race after DC Democrats and California liberals flooded the state in support of his candidacy, and exactly how it would end. “

But Georgia Democrats say a lot has changed between these two books of the Trump era: Ossoff is a better candidate, and, as shown in President-Elect Joe Biden’s victory, Georgia is a much friendlier state for him. has been made.

State rape. Jasmine Clarke, a scientist who defeated a Republican incumbent in the “Blue Wave” of the midterms of 2018, said you could draw a straight line from Ossoff’s first race to Stacey Abrams to the governor and then to Biden. The win is expected this month.

“The 2017 special election was a catalyst for what we saw in 2018. And the 2018 election served as a major catalyst for until 2020, when the state eventually flipped from red to blue,” Clarke said. Clark he said.

Georgia is one of the fastest growing states in the country, with a rapidly growing economy attracting youth of color. More than 600,000 new voters have been added to the rolls since the 2018 election, and an estimated 23,000 more youth will become eligible to vote only on 5 January.

“Georgia has become shorter and more diverse by the hour,” Ossoff said of what is different this year. “What we have done to build infrastructure … The majority of this work, led by Stacy Abrams, has been historic.”

A year and a half after Ossoff lost, Democrat Lucy McBath won the 6th Congressional District in mid-2018 with a pro-gun-control platform. Bath, who is Black and lost his son to gun violence, ran for re-election this month.

Biden Won the district With 11 percentage points, 55 percent to 44 percent – a surprising turn after Trump narrowed in 2016 and Republican Mitt Romney maintained his dominance in 2012, from 61 percent to 37 percent. Next door, Democratic Carolyn Bordeaux delivered in the 7th Congressional District. Its only real red-to-blue house by 2020 in an otherwise disappointing year.

The CEO of the New Georgia Project, NSE Uphot, which was founded by Abrams, “recognizes Georgia as a legitimate battleground this time is different.” “Demography is fire. Organizing is accelerator.”

During the Congressional Special Election at the 6th Congressional District of Georgia in June 2017, Marietta, Ga. Democrat John Ossoff leaves a campaign office after meeting with supporters in the US.David Goldman / AP File

In the wake of Trump’s 2016 victory, several special elections were seen as a test of the new national mood. But the one that really caught the fire was Ossoff in the northern Atlanta suburbs.

After the Women’s March, a newly formed progressive “resistance” movement was looking for something to do. It found Ausoff’s fundraising pitch to “make Trump furious”, opening his pockets and packing up his Saberos to help.

Samuel L. Jackson Recorded Campaign advertising. Trump traveled to Atlanta and in the tweet cast Ossoff as the radical Left mild. And a local TV station added a newscast to handle the influx of political advertisements.

Ossoff raised $ 8.3 million in the first quarter, an unheard-of amount at the time that was the first sign of a “green wave” of Democratic money that would later help candidates such as the Beto O’Rourke Shatter fundraising record.

Sarah Riggs-Amico said, “She is a very disciplined campaigner. She is Sarah Riggs-Amico, who accompanied Abram to lieutenant governor and attended the 2020 Senate primary against Ausoff.

Still, it owed a lot to a former congressional employee and documentary filmmaker who had never run for office, and he sometimes looked like a deer in the headlights in front of all the attention, as he drove the race. Tried to keep the focus on local. Issues.

“He matured enough as a candidate,” said Democratic State Representative Angelica Koshe. “He was very, very young, and at some point it turned out that he did not have experience. None of us had experience at that time.”

This year, in his last debate with Perdue, Ossoff went viral for dressing the senator on opportunistic stock trades during an epidemic that may have violated ethics rules. Perdue has refused to participate in any further debate.

The 2017 race was also the first real evidence that Georgia suburbs were changing.

The House Democrats’ campaign arm used the race in 2018 to conduct its first focus groups of the cycle, helping to focus on flipping suburban seats from California to Texas to New Jersey.

Kausche, a German immigrant, volunteered to work on Ospho’s campaign to learn more about American politics, but began running for office on his own.

“We couldn’t get anyone to run, because the traditional belief was that the area is so red, it’s all Republicans, Democrats. But the data [from Ossoff’s race] Tell a different story, “she said.” So I said, ‘Well, if we can’t find one, I’ll do it.’

He won by 317 votes in 2018, held by Republican Secretary of State Brad Rafsparger.

“Without John’s election campaigning experience, I probably wouldn’t have done it,” she said.

Democrats now expect Georgia to be on a path similar to Virginia, which went from red to purple to blue in a decade. But they are aware that it may take longer before January to reach there.

And when Ospho’s first race was for a House seat that had not changed the Chamber’s control, this time it is up for grabs.

“Georgian recognize the high stakes of these two Senate runoff, because this incoming administration needs the ability to govern,” Ossoff said.

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