Democrat Jon Ossoff’s trail of blue through Georgia’s 6th District flowed from the working-class Tucker suburb to the antique shops of Chamblee through the southern stretch of fast-urbanizing Dunwoody and blossomed across parts of Sandy Springs.
It darted north from there, hugging the spine of Ga. 400 — and the MARTA line — curving to the doorsteps of downtown Roswell and into the office parks of Alpharetta before jotting east toward the country club subdivisions of Johns Creek.
Republicans entered last week’s special election fearful that Ossoff might win the race to succeed Rep. Tom Price outright. They were right to worry: If not for big GOP margins in east Cobb and a sweep of nearly all of Milton, residents of the north Atlanta district would now be calling Ossoff their Congressman.
Instead, he and Republican Karen Handel face a June 20 runoff that could well be the most expensive U.S. House election in the nation’s history. It is both tug-of-war between national Republicans and Democrats and an electoral test for Donald Trump, who has waded deep into the election.
For metro Atlanta, though, it’s a different type of barometer. Residents are coming to terms with the notion that their turf is suddenly competitive: A 30-year-old first-time candidate outpolled Republicans in areas so conservative that Democrats often don’t even bother to enter local elections.