Major progressive group endorses well-funded Georgia House hopeful

Major progressive group endorses well-funded Georgia House hopeful
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Democracy for America (DFA) is the latest major progressive group to throw its weight behind Jon Ossoff, a Democrat running for Georgia's open House seat.

DFA touts Ossoff’s experience as a congressional aide and work in the private sector. Ossoff, 30, is currently an investigative filmmaker and a former aide to Reps. John Lewis and Hank Johnson.

National Democrats and progressive groups, like End Citizens United, have been coalescing around Ossoff as the party’s candidates ahead of the April 18 “jungle primary.” The race for Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price’s former seat is viewed as Democrats’ first opportunity to test if backlash to President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for ‘serious case of amnesia’ after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don’t want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE will help them flip House seats ahead of 2018.

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“Electing Jon Ossoff isn’t just an opportunity for Georgia to reject Donald Trump’s hate-fueled agenda, it’s a chance to send a progressive leader from a new generation to Congress to fight for racial justice and against rapidly growing income inequality,” said DFA chairman Jim Dean.

“No single race for political office is going to signal the success or failure of the multiracial, multigenerational resistance movement that has emerged in Georgia and across the country to stand up to Donald Trump, but the grassroots campaign Jon is running is showing Democrats exactly how we need to fight.”

DFA’s support for Ossoff is the group’s first congressional endorsement since the 2016 election. The group, which was founded in 2004 by former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, endorsed Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSchumer: Franken should resign Franken resignation could upend Minnesota races Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign MORE (I-Vt.) in the Democratic presidential primary.

Georgia’s 6th District is historically conservative, but Trump carried the Atlanta suburban district by just 1 point. And the open seat has captured national attention from Republicans and Democrats alike.

The House Democrats’ campaign arm is sending nine of its staffers to the district in support of Ossoff, and the group End Citizens United has already raised $150,000 for him, while readers of the liberal blog Daily Kos have so far contributed more than $1 million for his campaign.

Meanwhile, the GOP field is wide open with 11 candidates. The candidate with the highest name recognition is former Georgia secretary of State Karen Handel, who has unsuccessfully run for governor and Senate.

The field also consists of former state legislators, and some of the GOP contenders are aligning themselves closely with Trump. Bruce LeVell led one of the president's minority outreach efforts.

While the House GOP’s campaign arm currently has no plans to invest in the primary — though they are “monitoring the race closely” — Congressional Leadership Fund, a super-PAC aligned with House GOP leadership, has poured $1.1 million into the race with an ad campaign that will run until the primary.

The April 18 “jungle primary” features 18 candidates. If no candidate wins a majority, the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, will advance to a June 20 runoff.