Ex-Atlanta TV anchor runs for Georgia’s 6th District

Ex-Atlanta TV anchor Bobby Kaple is running for Georgia’s 6th District. File.

A former Atlanta TV anchor on Monday entered the race to represent Georgia’s 6th District, placing a calculated bet that he can succeed where Jon Ossoff failed in flipping the suburban Atlanta district.

Bobby Kaple, who resigned recently from the local CBS affiliate to run for office, said he’s focusing his Democratic campaign against Republican U.S. Rep. Karen Handel on a pledge for “affordable, accessible healthcare” and a vow to work across party lines.

“I can’t sit behind the anchor desk to report on this mess,” said Kaple. “I’ve got to do what I can to try to fix it.”

Whether Kaple faces stiff Democratic competition is still unknown. Ossoff still hasn’t said whether he’s running again next year, though he’s dropped hints that he might run and has recently met with state legislative candidates and party officials about how he can help with other races.

The race to represent the 6th district, which stretches from north DeKalb to east Cobb, became one of the nation’s premier political contests when longtime Rep. Tom Price resigned to join Donald Trump’s cabinet.

The contest wound up being the most expensive U.S. House race ever, a roughly $60 million fight fueled by powerful outside groups and out-of-state donations from contributors who saw it as an early test of Trump’s popularity in conservative-tilting suburbs.

Ossoff became a household name in Atlanta by raising $30 million – shattering fundraising records – only to lose the June runoff to Handel by 4 points. At an event last week, he played up the drama.

“They’re feeling a little nervous, don’t want another big showdown in the Sixth,” he said of antsy Republicans at the Cobb County Democratic fundraiser. “So I say we let them sweat a little longer.”

Ossoff’s deliberation has also frozen the Democratic field – until Monday. Kaple said he told Ossoff last week about his candidacy, and said he’s not turning back even if Ossoff jumps in the race.

“I voted for Jon Ossoff. I was proud to see him step up and run. But this is a different election and I’m a different candidate,” said Kaple, adding: “I’m in no matter what.”

In a statement, Handel signaled she was unfazed by the competition.

“My total focus right now is on the constituents of the Sixth District and the issues that are important to them, such as tax reform,” she said.

Kaple, 34, graduated from the University of Miami and worked for TV markets in Iowa, south Florida and Los Angeles before moving to Atlanta in 2015. He lives in Milton with his wife Rebecca, a television sports reporter, and twin children.

It was his twins’ medical plight that helped inspire his run. Born prematurely, the two racked up hundreds of thousands of medical bills that could have bankrupted his family if not for their health insurance coverage.

He said he would work to “fix soaring premiums” afflicting the Affordable Care Act, but said he vociferously objected to Handel’s call to repeal the law and replace it with a GOP version that he said could threaten coverage for Americans with pre-existing conditions.

“I’m going to make this campaign about me and what I can do positively in this district, but it’s also going to be a referendum on Karen Handel as well,” said Kaple, adding that her healthcare stance is “not looking out for families like mine.”

“Every chance she gets, she stands with the special interests and the lobbyists,” said Kaple.

It’s unclear whether he plans to self-finance his own campaign – he declined to comment about his financial strategy – but he called the $60 million pricetag of this year’s special election “outrageous.”

“I’ll have enough money to compete with Handel – and I’ll leave it at that for now,” he said.

He’s at least the second news anchor to run for office this cycle. Chris Hurst quit his job months after his girlfriend was fatally shot during a live news broadcast and announced his bid for the Virginia House of Delegates.

Kaple co-hosted the CBS46 early morning and noon shows  until he stepped down in mid-September to prepare for his bid. He said his journalism background gives him a window into the struggles and ambitions of suburban Atlanta voters – and what he calls a “front row seat to the dysfunction in Washington.”

“I’ve been able to spend my entire career digging into local communities across the country, and in Atlanta” he said, adding: “It’s given me a lot more compassion – and it makes me want to represent them in Congress.”

More recent AJC coverage of the 6th District race

Handel preps another 6th District campaign as Ossoff looms

Ossoff laces into Trump as he eyes a Georgia 6th comeback bid

Reader Comments 3

19 comments
ptcrunner
ptcrunner

Let's not forget that these 'well-educated folks' in GA-6 continually voted for Tom "Planes, Planes and More Planes" Price. So there's that solid strike against these conservative lemmings who still defend that heathen. Then, these right-wing Republicans put Karen "15K Corinthian leather chairs/piece" Handel into office. Okay now that we established those facts, what's the yuge deal about these supposed "well-educated" folks' degrees? After all, these are the same lemmings who argued that a college degree doesn't mean very much since they backed Karen - who does not have a degree, BTW -- not that there's anything wrong with that, right? This just shows right-wing hypocrisy which is alive and well throughout GA-6, but those polities are sectioned off in the district. There are now more diverse pockets forming despite the gerrymandering as implemented by Republicans in the Georgia State House. Economic apartheid grows throughout the sixth, the Atlanta metro area and across America's cities. Of course right-wingers will jump on here, regurgitate Rush Limbaugh and repeat the late homophobe Lewis Grizzard's line about, "Delta is ready when you are" if you don't like The South and wish to move to a more progressive place. You people are missing the point as usual. Conservative sheeple: GA-6 is changing and you're scared because there are folks who have moved there who look different from you. Your NIMBY, "there-goes-the-neighborhood" attitude shows in your actions and your wrongful votes. Yes, y'all might possess degrees from Georgia Tech, but it doesn't mean a hill of beans when you display your home-grown ignorance and latent racism in public and in private on a daily basis. 

hipakuhi
hipakuhi

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jj494
jj494

Everybody needs a dream, keep dreamin DUMBACRAT

Practicality
Practicality

More Dims whistling past the graveyard, ho hum.........

A guy walks into a bar
A guy walks into a bar

Bobby, don't quit your day job. Just because you think you're somebody because you're on tv, doesn't mean a damn thing. On the other hand, go for it. You have nothing to lose.

Say No More
Say No More

The right is still pretty untied and mad at the Ossoff attempted coup-I doubt you'll flip it Kaple but go ahead and invest your money and get shut down too

jezel-dog / Coach - me
jezel-dog / Coach - me

 Fresh new face....probably has a tv audience who likes him....good start.


Promise the folks in the 6th.....bigger and better coal mines....more tater farms....


Tell em....you got your GED from Trailer Park High....and don't need no public education.....


They will think ....your are one of em.....

Roswell_Ed
Roswell_Ed

@jezel-dog / Coach - me Ga 6th is one of the 10 most educated districts in the country. There are only 15 districts where 50% or more of the population have college degrees.

My wife and I live there and have degrees in accounting and finance. 

So pls go somewhere else and spew how little you know.

MakeAmericaMediocreAgain
MakeAmericaMediocreAgain

@Roswell_Ed @jezel-dog / Coach - me I'm glad your degrees in accounting and finance make you educated enough to know how to deal with the issues of this country.  You probably voted for Trump, and since you are accounting and finance, why don't you tell him to sell off KY, MS, SC and WV since they are costing this country billions of dollars.

Courtney2
Courtney2

I hope the Dummycrats waste millions more on the 6th instead of a competitive district.   Only a Democrat could lose to Trump.  llol

TheCentrist
TheCentrist

@Courtney2  You do realize that SOCONS spent more million on the 6th district to elect an undereducated carpetbagger to keep a seat previously held by an insider-trading incompetent quack.  So much for the sixth district being knowledgeable.

Practicality
Practicality

@TheCentrist @Courtney2 Assoff spent many millions more than the Republicans did, wasting a ton of his own money, plus millions more from his fudgepacking/muff diving Hollyweird pals.

LookCloser
LookCloser

Another dimwit "pretty boy" Democrat.

He lives in the richest county in Georgia.  Yeah, I'm sure he's in touch with the poor and disenfranchised democratic voters......

Man these Dem's are typical....they have the same stench, the same vibe.  

His journalism background gives him a window into being a D!c#, Fake News, Liberal, Democrat lockstepper.....

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

Good luck! Time will tell...as well as your detailed platform.

Trackbacks

  1. […] My colleague Greg Bluestein in Political Insider spoke with him if you want to read more. […]

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  2. […] floodgates haven’t exactly opened, but Bobby Kaple’s decision to run for Georgia’s Sixth District has spurred at least one other Democrat to join the […]

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  3. […] for the 2018 Sixth District race is still shaping up. Former Atlanta TV anchor Bobby Kaple, who entered the contest as a Democrat last week, didn’t have to file a disclosure this quarter. Her other Democratic […]

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