Democrat Jon Ossoff may have raised an eye-popping sum of money in the lead-up to last week’s 6th District special election, but Karen Handel responded with an impressive haul less than a week into the runoff.
The Republican’s campaign said Monday afternoon it raised more than $1 million since she advanced into the runoff.
“We expected a surge of donations since Tuesday’s special election, but we never expected this kind of momentum,” the campaign said in a fundraising email earlier Monday.
After a bitterly fractured first round, Republicans aim to send a message to Democrats hopeful they can flip Tom Price’s old House seat that the GOP is united. Gov. Nathan Deal, the state’s congressional delegation and former Republican rivals are all lining up behind Handel.
The former secretary of state will likely get another fundraising bump Tuesday, when the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Chamber are set to formally endorse her in Alpharetta.
Ossoff’s campaign has yet to announce its fundraising total for the first week of the nine-week runoff, but the Democrat could very well surpass Handel. In the hours after he captured 48 percent of the 6th District vote last Tuesday, Ossoff’s campaign told the AJC that it took in more than $500,000.
Meanwhile, Ossoff on Monday challenged Handel to six debates between now and the June 20 runoff.
“Publicly debating the issues that matter the most to Georgians, especially as it concerns growing the local economy, cutting government waste, keeping Americans safe, and bringing accountability to Washington, is paramount to ensuring that our democracy is as transparent and accessible as possible,” Ossoff said in a statement.
Handel’s campaign seemed open to the idea.
“We welcome any chance to highlight Jon Ossoff’s inexperience and are excited to have a robust debate on the issues,” said Handel spokeswoman Kate Constantini. “He can start by explaining why he wants to represent a district he doesn’t even live in and how we should expect him to represent a conservative district when his campaign is fueled by the far left fringes of his party.”
The 6th District race is shaping up to be the most expensive House race ever. Outside groups and the two parties are pouring money and resources into the suburban Atlanta district as they battle for control of the national narrative about how President Donald Trump is impacting early local elections.
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