Perez heads to Georgia to boost Ossoff before runoff

Perez heads to Georgia to boost Ossoff before runoff
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Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez is heading to Georgia to rally support for the Democratic candidate in a June 20 special election runoff.

The DNC announced Wednesday that Perez will speak at the Democratic Party of Georgia's dinner in Atlanta on Thursday to boost Jon Ossoff. Ossoff, a 30-year-old former congressional aide and investigative filmmaker, advanced to a runoff after Tuesday's primary. 

Perez on Wednesday also sent a fundraising email to Democrats asking them to support both the party and Ossoff's campaign. 

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"If we go all-in and elect Jon, we'll turn Georgia's 6th district blue for the first time in 38 years and send a big, loud message to Donald and the Republicans who are backing him that Democrats are fired up and ready to fight," Perez wrote in the email. 

"So let's make sure we're giving Jon everything we've got on the first day of the runoff. Split a $10 donation between Jon's campaign and the DNC right now, and let's turn this red district blue."

Democrats hoped Ossoff could defeat his 17 fellow candidates outright on Tuesday by winning a 50 percent majority of the vote.

Ossoff only received 48.1 percent and now heads to a runoff against former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel, a Republican, who finished second. 

While he narrowly missed that mark, Democrats are enthusiastic about his showing in the red district and hopeful that a victory in June could serve as a rebuke to President Trump. 

Republicans have held Georgia's 6th District seat for decades — but Trump won the district by less than 2 percentage points in November.

The seat opened when Trump picked then-Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) to lead the Department of Health and Human Services.

Democrats mobilized in the hopes of making the seat a referendum on Trump and winning the kind of seat the party will need if it wants to flip the House in the 2018 midterm elections.