U.S. Rep. Jody Hice represents one of the redder districts in the nation, a northeast Georgia stretch splattered around the deep-blue island of Athens. He’s drawn a 2018 challenger who aims to energize those core Democrats in next year’s midterms.
Chalis Montgomery, a 39-year-old educator and youth ministry leader, is backing an ardently progressive platform. She lists an immigration overhaul, criminal justice reform and access to college and vocational training for all among her policy platforms.
But she’s centering her campaign on a call for universal healthcare. Her announcement tells of her 9-year-old daughter Gwen, who suffers from the pre-existing condition of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and thus is covered by the Affordable Care Act.
She said Hice, who voted to repeal and replace the measure this year after initial concerns that it didn’t shave costs too deeply, took a stance that is “devastating to children like her.”
She faces a tougher battle than candidates eyeing nearby suburban Atlanta districts, like the newly-competitive Sixth and Seventh Districts, where changing demographics and skepticism to Trump have buoyed Democratic hopes.
Trump easily carried the 10th District and Hice, who captured two-thirds of the vote when first elected in 2014, didn’t even face an opponent in November. (Though a super PAC tried to recruit a local candidate: And what a disaster that would have been.)