Election Update

FL-Sen: Law professor Tim Canova, who unsuccessfully challenged Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in last year’s Democratic primary, now says that “a number of folks [are] trying to convince me to run” against Sen. Bill Nelson in next year’s Democratic primary. Canova raised a boatload of money from Bernie Sanders supporters who were angry with Wasserman Schultz over the alleged favoritism she showed toward Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential primaries, but it wasn’t nearly enough, and the incumbent won 57-43. It’s hard to see how Canova would fare any better against a well-respected statewide figure who doesn’t exactly inspire the kind of antipathy Wasserman Schultz does.HOUSE
• GA-06: Filing closed on Wednesday afternoon for the special election to fill Republican Tom Price’s suburban Atlanta House seat, and the leading Democrat in the contest, investigative filmmaker Jon Ossoff, got some good news. Just before the deadline, Ossoff’s most serious Democrat opponent, former state Rep. Sally Harrell, dropped out of the race, citing Ossoff’s superior fundraising. That’s huge because, as we’ve noted, all candidates from all parties will run together on a single ballot on April 18, and in the likely event no one takes a majority, the top two vote-getters regardless of party will advance to a June 20 runoff.
With Harrell out, Ossoff’s odds of getting past the primary increase, though four other Democrats did file, so the chances for a first-round knockout are long. However, none of the others look especially serious. None of them are on ActBlue, the Democratic fundraising site, and only two have even submitted paperwork to the FEC. The most prominent of this batch is former state Sen. Ron Slotin, but he hasn’t held office since 1996. In fact, that year, he left the legislature in order to challenge then-Rep. Cynthia McKinney in the Democratic primary and took all of 6 percent of the vote for his efforts.
Meanwhile, 11 Republicans have formally entered the race, though several are Some Dudes. The most prominent candidates are:

• former Secretary of State Karen Handel, who has twice unsuccessfully run statewide (once for governor, once for Senate);
• state Sen. Judson Hill, who was the first Republican to announce and whose district is contained almost entirely within Georgia’s 6th
• businessman Bruce LeVell, who ran Trump’s “diversity coalition” (we’re still amused);
• former state Sen. Dan Moody, a possible self-funder; and
• businessman Bob Gray, another potential self-funder.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Greg Bluestein has a rundown with some more details on each of these candidates.
One very notable figured decided to stay out, though: state Rep. Betty Price, who is Tom Price’s wife and had not ruled out a bid. But after her husband got shredded over insider trading allegations during his confirmation hearings to be Trump’s Health and Human Services secretary and only secured his post on a strictly part-line vote, perhaps Price felt her name would no longer be an asset. A few others who had considered running also wound up saying no, including state Sen. Brandon Beach, immigration attorney Charles Kuck, and former Johns Creek Councilwoman Kelly Stewart.
This suburban Atlanta seat is usually reliably Republican, with Mitt Romney taking it 61-38. But this area did not react well to Trump at all, and he won this district by a bare 48-47 last year. It won’t be easy for Ossoff to convince voters to reject Republicans who aren’t named Donald Trump, but if Team Blue can successfully make this contest a referendum on the Orange One and his chaotic tenure, things could get interesting. Digest readers know we’ve been following this race closely, and we’ll continue to do so right through the election, so stay tuned.


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