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Celebrity donations help fuel Georgia Dem's $8.3M haul

Celebrity donations help fuel Georgia Dem's $8.3M haul
© Dustin Chambers

More than a dozen celebrities donated to Democrat Jon Ossoff’s campaign in the Georgia special election, contributing to his astounding $8.3 million fundraising haul.

Ossoff’s raised a record $8.3 million that came from nearly 200,000 donors, though 95 percent of them are from out of state. He has $2.1 million cash on hand going into the April 18 "jungle primary" to fill the seat left vacant by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

Actors including John Leguizamo, Sam Waterston, Kristen Bell, Connie Britton, Jessica Lange, Lynda Carter and Rhea Perlman all contributed to Ossoff’s campaign, according to his Federal Election Commission (FEC) report made public on Thursday.

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Comedian Chelsea Handler maxed out with a contribution of $2,700, as did actor Jon Cryer.

National Democrats are looking to make the race a referendum on President Trump in a reliably conservative district that he carried by only 1 point. And Ossoff, a 30-year-old investigative filmmaker, has also gotten a boost from celebrities on the ground.

As early voting kicked off last week, actress Alyssa Milano and actor Chris Gorham pitched in and volunteered to drive voters to the polls.

The Georgia Democrats’ eye-popping fundraising numbers vastly eclipsed some of his toughest competitors in the race.

Former Georgia secretary of State Karen Handel (R) announced that she brought in $463,000 and has more than $183,000 in her campaign account. And former state Sen. Judson Hill (R) hauled in $473,000 and has $113,000 cash on hand, according to his FEC report.

Republicans have largely trained their fire on Ossoff, seeking to tie him to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and attack him over his help from Hollywood. Ossoff also received $2,000 from both Pelosi and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer’s (D-Md.) campaigns.

“Jon Ossoff is riding a huge wave of support from the liberal media and celebrities in Hollywood,” Handel said in an email to supporters. “In fact, just this morning we learned that Hollywood celebrity Alyssa Milano is working to elect Nancy Pelosi’s handpicked candidate right here in Georgia. That’s right – Hollywood is all-in on electing Ossoff.”

Ossoff is looking to win outright in the April 18 primary and polls show he’s close to the 50 percent threshold. But if no candidate wins a majority of the vote, the top two finishers will advance to a runoff on June 20.