GA-Gov: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Greg Bluestein has been following the developing field in Georgia’s gubernatorial race closely, and in a new piece, he runs down the prospects of just about every potential candidate in both parties. Two tidbits are particularly notable. For Republicans, Bluestein says that Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle is “almost certain to run,” though he doesn’t cite any sources. He also offers something similar about a leading Democrat, state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, saying she’s “all but certain to run” and adds that her supporters are trying to clear the field for her. Both Cagle and Abrams have not ruled out bids.
GA-06: A fourth Democrat has jumped into expected special election for GOP Rep. Tom Price’s suburban Atlanta House seat: Jon Ossoff, a former congressional aide and campaign operative who now runs a documentary film company that investigates crime and corruption. That political background has already proven to be a big boon to Ossoff, as he kicked off his bid with endorsements from Atlanta-area Reps. Hank Johnson and John Lewis, both of whom he’s worked for in the past. He also says that donors have pledged $250,000 to his campaign.
And he’ll need the help if he’s to have a shot. As we’ve noted before, all candidates from all parties will run together on a single ballot in the special election, with the top two vote-getters advancing to a runoff in the likely event no one takes a majority in the first round. Because there are so many Democrats already in the race—including two former state legislators—there’s a worrisome chance that they’ll split the vote and allow two Republicans to squeeze into the second round.
Someone would either need to clear the field or emerge as the only credible Democrat to ensure the runoff is contested, and with his claimed financial strength and his support from Lewis, a civil rights legend, Ossoff may have suddenly become the top contender. And while Georgia’s 6th District has traditionally been very conservative, tremendous hostility to Donald Trump saw him carry the district by just a 48-47 margin, so Democrats could have an opening if they don’t botch the runoff.
Meanwhile, oddly enough, there’s still only one Republican who’s declared for the race, state Sen. Judson Hill, though plenty of others are considering, including Price’s wife, state Rep. Betty Price, and former Secretary of State Karen Handel. What could be keeping them? Well, while Republicans on Capitol Hill are likely to do whatever Donald Trump demands of them, Price could face some ugly confirmation hearings for Health and Human Services secretary thanks to allegations that he may have engaged in insider trading based on secret information he learned as a member of Congress. It could be that his fellow Republicans are waiting to make sure he’s safely ensconced as Obamacare Destroyer-in-Chief before sticking their necks out, lest they risk his taint.