GOP super PAC pours more than $1M into Georgia special election

A super PAC aligned with House GOP leadership is doubling its spending in a Georgia House special election, launching another $1.1 million ad campaign against Democrat Jon Ossoff.

The Congressional Leadership Fund’s (CLF) latest ad campaign brings the total spending against Ossoff to $2.2 million in the race to fill the seat vacated by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

The ad, which starts airing Friday, accuses Ossoff — an investigative filmmaker and former congressional aide — of “inflating his resume” and argues he’ll be a “rubber stamp” on Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (Calif.) agenda.


“The myth of Jon Ossoff is based upon one thing and one thing only: he’s had a 7.5-to-1 spending advantage — and today that changes,” said CLF executive director Corry Bliss.

“Jon Ossoff and his liberal allies are spending $1 million a week trying to convince Georgia voters that he is someone he’s not. The fact is Jon Ossoff is nothing more than a rubber stamp for Nancy Pelosi’s liberal agenda of higher taxes, more spending, and job-destroying regulations.”

Earlier this month, the CLF launched an initial $1.1 million TV and digital ad campaign knocking Ossoff as a “30-year-old frat boy” and featuring footage from his college days when he dressed up as a popular character from “Star Wars.”

The CLF is ramping up its spending less than a month before the April 18 all-party primary. Regardless of party affiliation, 18 candidates will square off, and if no one breaks 50 percent, the top two vote-getters will compete in a June 20 runoff.

National Democrats have rallied behind Ossoff. They believe the special election can be a test to see if backlash against President Trump can flip a seat ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

While the Atlanta suburban district has been reliably conservative, Trump carried it by only 1 point in the 2016 election. Still, Democrats have an uphill battle in the district where Price has easily won all of his reelection races by at least 60 percent.

Other than the CLF, national Republicans have stayed out of the primary and haven't backed a particular candidate in a field of 11 GOP candidates.

A recent poll found Ossoff at 41 percent, nearing the 50 percent threshold to avoid a runoff. Former Georgia secretary of State Karen Handel and former councilman Bob Gray were the two leading Republicans at 16.1 and 15.6 percent, respectively. But the survey only polls eight of the 18 candidates in the race.