Karen Handel gets last-day support from Donald Trump’s Georgia chair

If a candidate has a last-minute surprise in hand, the Monday morning before a Tuesday election is the last news cycle in which to spring it.

And so: In the Sixth District contest, Karen Handel has entered the “who-would-Donald-Trump-support” sweepstakes with an endorsement from Rayna Casey, who chaired Trump’s presidential campaign in Georgia. From the press release:

“During the 2016 election, I supported President Donald Trump and his promise to shake up Washington and get things done.

 

“This is the same reason I now endorse Karen Handel, an independent-minded leader with a proven record of getting results. She has a track record of taking on the status quo and the experience needed to deliver for the people of the 6th District.”

President Trump has not endorsed in the Sixth District contest, but weighed in this morning with a condemnation of Democrat Jon Ossoff:

Endorsements aren’t always helpful. But Casey’s could, for several reasons. First, the gender thing. Handel saw two prominent Republican women – House Speaker pro tem Jan Jones of Johns Creek and Fulton County Commissioner Liz Hausmann — endorse former state senator Dan Moody last week.

 


 

Then there’s the money thing. Handel has always been an indifferent fund-raiser. Casey isn’t. (Casey raised money in Georgia for Trump’s inauguration.)

Finally, there’s the Trump vote. Harnessed behind one candidate in the race for the GOP berth in a June 20 runoff, it could make the difference tomorrow.

But with Casey’s endorsement, you can consider the Trump machine in Georgia to be divided at least four ways. To one degree or another, Moody, former Johns Creek councilman Bob Gray, and former Trump surrogate Bruce LeVell have all sought to portray themselves as Trump’s champion in the Sixth District.

***

We have a relatively late entrant in the war over Georgia’s 6th District: A pro-Trump super PAC that slams Republican Bob Gray.

The 45 Committee has targeted Gray, who is running as a Donald Trump loyalist, for accepting the endorsement of yet another bankrolling operation, the conservative Club for Growth.

The 45 Committee calls CFG a “D.C. special interest group.” (Insert kettle/black joke here) Moreover, the 45s accuse the CFG, which is allied with the Freedom Caucus in the U.S. House, of propping up Gray’s campaign.

“If Bob Gray stands with the Club for Growth,” the narrator in the 45 ad intones, “how can we trust him to fight for us?”

Club for Growth opposed Trump in the GOP primary and fought the doomed health care repeal bill that president supported. Since endorsing Gray in Georgia’s special election, Club for Growth has been lobbing attack ads at Republican Karen Handel and unnerving national Republicans worried about Democrat Jon Ossoff’s campaign.

The 45 Committee is backed by influential GOP donors Sheldon Adelson and Todd Ricketts, and spent some $18 million opposing Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential contest.  It doesn’t endorse any candidate, but it sure doesn’t hurt Handel or any other leading Republican contenders. And it’s worth noting that Adelson, the Las Vegas billionaire, has a good friend in former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich, who is backing former state senator Judson Hill in the contest.

Watch 45 Committee ad here:

 

***

Speaking of Judson Hill: The GOP state senator sent out robocalls this weekend with an endorsement of his Sixth District candidacy by former House speaker Newt Gingrich. But Hill’s closer will apparently be U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who calls Hill “the only trusted conservative” in the contest. The Sixth went for Rubio in last year’s presidential primary.

Listen to the call here:

 

***

Over at the polling blog FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver has this to say about the 6th District special election:

“…You’ll conclude that Tuesday night’s first round won’t actually resolve that much — unless Ossoff hits 50 percent of the vote and averts the runoff entirely. (That’s an unlikely but hardly impossible scenario given the fairly high error margins of polls under these circumstances.) Even if Ossoff finishes in the low 40s, it will be hard to rule him out in the second round provided that he still finishes in first place by a comfortable margin.

 

“But even if Ossoff finishes just a point or two shy of 50 percent, and Democrats finish with more votes than Republicans overall, he won’t have any guarantees in the runoff given that it’s a Republican-leaning district and that the GOP will have a chance to regroup. With the runoff not scheduled until June 20, there will be lots of time for speculation about what the first round meant — and a lot of it will be hot air.”

Read Silver’s full post here.

***

The Atlantic has put together a short documentary on the Georgia special election, with a cameo by one of your Insiders.

***

If the Sixth District weren’t bubbling, the plight of Georgia Power’s two unfinished nuclear reactors would likely be dominating the statewide headlines. Last Friday, Tim Echols, a member of the state Public Service Commission, was interviewed by Tim Bryant of WGAU (1340AM) in Athens.

Now that the original builder of the Plant Vogtle reactors, Westinghouse Electric, has gone bankrupt, all eyes are now on the financial stability of its parent company, Japanese giant Toshiba, Echols said. Listen to the entire exchange here:

 

What’s important is that Echols provides evidence of shifting ground within the PSC. Said the commissioner:

“We’re guessing that Toshiba is too big to fail. That’s not a for-sure thing. If they do fail, all of the back-stops that we have, the protections that the lawyers have negotiated – all of that goes away.

 

“That is the worst-case scenario, where the parent company bankrupts and eliminates the backstop. Then we’re left on our own to finish this, and in my opinion, my fellow commissioners will not have the stomach to move forward. And I don’t know that I will have the stomach to move forward on some sort of time-and-material-type of contract where, at every turn along the way – it’s been longer than we thought, and more money than we thought.

 

“…Because we have a parental guarantee from [Toshiba], and the media has reported it to be $3 billion and $4 billion dollars – what we will be able to do is to take this parental guarantee money and shore up the overruns. But if we don’t have that protection, that bucket of cash from them — in my opinion, if Toshiba bankrupts, these reactors will not be built.”

 

Reader Comments 0

91 comments
Sarah Ann Seabrook Horne
Sarah Ann Seabrook Horne

Go Republicans...Hope you beat the outsider who has received 95% of his money from outsiders. That's not good for Georgia.

J.r. Rich-Bellerose
J.r. Rich-Bellerose

All the more reason not to vote for her or any republican. #VoteYourOssoff #FlipTheSixth #TurnItBlue #VOTE

Ginny Hordines
Ginny Hordines

Repub;icans cannot campaign without malicious lies, sooo dishonest in everyway.

Denise Taylor
Denise Taylor

The last person to receive any votes should be Karen Handel!! She's a #45 clone! She will add and endorse the destruction of America!!

Thomas E. Sims Sr.
Thomas E. Sims Sr.

Handel will loose again tomorrow, don't need another old republican with no solutions.

Lynn Bollinger
Lynn Bollinger

That alone would convince me to vote for Ossoff.

Beth Castleberry Pendergraft
Beth Castleberry Pendergraft

Yeah, let's put some more Repugs & Trumpers in Washington! That idiot Trump is going to put us into WWIII because he can't shut his big mouth & those GOP wimps in Congress are going to let him do whatever he wants because all they want is their jobs...forever!

Kathleen Holloman
Kathleen Holloman

No more republicans until they prove we the people can trust them to do the right thing. No more

Dale Hardy
Dale Hardy

You have got to be kidding. Obama, Pelosi, Clinyo , Reid have made billions off tax payers and our world is in sad shape. You need to watch Fox because you are getting lies and hate on CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC. Sad.

Jeri Henson Dies
Jeri Henson Dies

Poor white people resent other poor people--especially those with darker skin--getting the same welfare benefits they get. And so they vote for Republicans to stop the "freeloaders" from getting help--except they're going to be losing theirs as well. So everyone suffers because of resentment and racism.

Robert Bass
Robert Bass

Liberals have and always will be jobless trash...

Jarid Moon
Jarid Moon

JFK was jobless trash? Lol You guys are funny... Most Liberals/Progressives are highly educated and have nice incomes.

Robert Bass
Robert Bass

JFK was a true democrat, not the trash claiming to be today

Jackie Lovett
Jackie Lovett

I guess this means you won't be marching on Earth Day? \U0001f30e

Matt Simpson
Matt Simpson

Robert Bass. I am an I.T. professional living in John's Creek. I have been working and paying taxes since the day I turned 16. I will be voting for Jon Ossoff. You sir should catch the next tractor back to Vidalia where you came from. More your kind of people.

Beth Castleberry Pendergraft
Beth Castleberry Pendergraft

'Scuse me? A lot of us "jobless trash" are smarter and have made a lot more money than you while still having a conscience! You & Trump belong in the same garbage pile!

Robert Bass
Robert Bass

Nancy Pelosi is the top democrat, and you ppl backing idiots like that, says a lot for your party and you....

Cathy Mclaurin
Cathy Mclaurin

Handel is one of the GOP tricks...You will get the same old , stupid, decrepite governace...

Kevin Kitchen
Kevin Kitchen

Jon Ossoff is OK and looks good on TV. The problem is, whoever heard of him before this election? ? Not me. You kind of have to cut your political teeth by running for smaller offices like City Council or Mayor before you jump into running for Congress so you can build a record you can run on. Karen Handle has done this. I don't dislike Ossoff and I don't believe the stupid political attack ads against him. I just don't see the experience or resume.

Frank Casper
Frank Casper

There's something dissonant about wanting experience in the age of Trump.

Patricia Rathbun
Patricia Rathbun

He is fresh and that's what we need, he is getting tons of money, so he has support. We need someone new not stale

Jackie Lovett
Jackie Lovett

45 had no public service experience either. Apparently that's not needed these days. \U0001f917. I voted my #Ossoff

Harry Underwood
Harry Underwood

I like your response, although I support Ossoff. Our elections these days are putting less of a premium on prior political experience. District 2 elected a dentist with no prior electoral experience as a Republican member of Congress back in November to replace Lynn Westmoreland. Handel may have experience but I think Ossoff is a better option because he has better ideas for the district.

Patricia Rathbun
Patricia Rathbun

Those who are against Jon are afraid that he will change things that need changing. We can not be in 2017 with 1940's ideals

Stan Pitts
Stan Pitts

If the republicans end up winning, it won't be because of effort or strength of candidate. It'll be solely because of the wisdom and discernment of the good people of the 6th, because Ossoff has outworked and outplayed every single republican candidate.

Ronald W. Mann
Ronald W. Mann

Actually it will be the right thing Assoff is just another Soros purchase

Anthony Byerly
Anthony Byerly

But He is a little Marxist Progressive Liberal, no chance He wins

Don Brewer
Don Brewer

A Marxist Progressive Liberal? What exactly is that? I mean besides something you saw on Fox.

Karen Rakestraw
Karen Rakestraw

Hypocrisy regarding Soros card. Republicans have the koch brothers, DeVos' Merkel family money etc etc.

Karl M Anderson
Karl M Anderson

Sorry guys i voted for Jon. You old guys haven't exactly done good for the country. Next time nominate a young new republicans and he may get my support. But I'm done with you old fools running the country into the ground because you angry and scared of everything changing. Things change, change is good we call that progressing. GA needs more change. Atlanta is the greatest most important city in the south east and you can't even get a commuter rail 10 miles out side of midtown smh.

Keith Taylor
Keith Taylor

Jon will only be able to do what Pelosi tells him to do. If you think otherwise.....no help for you.

Adam Levenstein
Adam Levenstein

The Roman Republic lasted almost 500 years. The Icelandic Althing lasted from around 900 ad to its suspension in the late 1700s. Respect is great, history is better.

Karl M Anderson
Karl M Anderson

That was Bush who was president when the housing market crashed and Clinton who should take some of that blame. But I bought two houses because I started making good money and could. That's pretty presumptuous to assume I can only afford a house because it's half off. I actually work in banking and make really good money.

Elizabeth Chapman
Elizabeth Chapman

The Country you say old fools have run into the ground is the ONLY Democratic Republic that has Stood Successfully in the History of Mankind for nearly 250 years... YOU Obviously Need to Show some "RESPECT"... Your Impatience to have your own Youthful Selfish Will clouds your intelligence... does it not?

Karl M Anderson
Karl M Anderson

Elizabeth Chapman your reply infers that Democratic republics aren't very successful forms of government seeing as its success rate you stated is poor by your own admission. Lol These 250 years are more like 400 years, in which they needed 265 years of slavery and 99 years of segregation. So to me we've only been a "successful" democracy maybe 53 years give or take. Without slavery and exploiting labor these old guys you love to cherish couldn't have done crap. It's easy to win when your exploiting people. But for argument sake, Lincoln was 51, George Washington was 57, Kennedy was 43. Not exactly the senior citizens we are surrounded by now. What's Trump like 70? And Clinton is 70 too I think. It is you and people like you that are selfish and not giving young men and women a chance too lead because you think you know everything and are afraid to give up control. But one day you'll be dead and it will be our country and all the bigotry and nonsense you guys continue to bring into America will be gone. I'll start respecting my elders when they do something worth respecting. I think the baggage that comes with old age is clouding your intellect and judgement along with many others and that's why America has been stagnant for years now.

Dale Hardy
Dale Hardy

It doesn't matter the age if their policies are bad for Americans. Look at Obsms, youthful, charming, funny, nice looking, outgoing, but the worst President ever. He was a good speaker, he could read that teleprompter better than anyone. In fact, he was a good oreacher, but his Muslim policies along with his socialist views has left America in a world of hurt. This Ossorf has been bought by whoever is backing him with $8 million in contributions, and it could be George Soros because he backed Obama and Clinton. Speaking of Obama, a community organizer as President, really. The money he made while President will be revealed and it will be sad. Anyway, I pray this Ossorf is not elected, just another pupoet regardless of age.

Lynne Latham
Lynne Latham

@Karl M Anderson not all of us elders want to cling to an era when government caters to the rich and influential while denying the lower and middle classes, women, and minorities the opportunity to get ahead because, for many, no matter how hard you work, financial security will never be achieved.

Karl M Anderson
Karl M Anderson

I did ok under Obama, I struggled finding work at the end of bush's term. Was in college his first term. During the Obama years I tripled my salary and bought two houses at ridiculously low interest rates. So when people say he ruined their life I can't relate. I like Obama as a person but I do like neo liberal/corporate democrats. I don't know why people like you keep calling him Muslim and pretend all was perfect until Obama came and ruined it. I'm pretty sure America has seen much worst. Like I said I was damn near homeless after Bush collapsed the economy but sure let's blame Obama for that.... not!! I'm curious over the last 8 years how exactly did Obama ruin your life? And please don't say healthcare because that cost has been steadily rising years before any of us even know who Obama was. On jon getting outside money I find it ironic and hypocritical because from runners from both parties get a lot of money from people outside Georgia. Have you never heard of the Koch family? You strike as someone with an agenda who rejects any information that doesn't fit your belief whether factual or not. Obama had half of Wall Street working in the White House and your talking about his socialist policy lmfao; your just regurgitating what you've been told dude, and it shows. I wish more Americans embraced Independent thought.

Keith Taylor
Keith Taylor

Karl M Anderson You bought two houses because the Dems ruined the market and houses fell by 50% or more.

Keith Taylor
Keith Taylor

Lynne Latham Just how has someone held you back?

Antonette Tucker-Molina
Antonette Tucker-Molina

Woooow read this whole thread. With that being said COOOOME THRUUUUUUHHH Karl M Anderson Facts will always be facts, while feelings can change. Trumper supporters do not acknowledge facts, but emotions.