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Political Note #283 John Ossoff US Senate Georgia
2020 General Election
Georgia on my mind. Georgia has three very big elections coming up in November. Let’s see who votes. Let’s see who is allowed to vote. In 2018, Democrat Stacey Abrams lost the race for Governor to the then Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp. She lost by 55,000 votes or 1.4%. 700,000 voters were removed from the voting rolls, 107,00 of them because they had not voted in the past few elections. There is a lot more to the conversation, but that one statistic stands out. Stacey Abrams is now devoting herself to ending voter suppression and ensuring fair elections.
In 2020, a lot depends on who votes and who is allowed to vote. In polls, Joe Biden is in a virtual tie with President Trump for Georgia. A victory by Joe Biden in Georgia would almost certainly mean he wins the presidency.
In the special election for the US Senate, the top two will be in a runoff. The latest poll shows Republican Congressman Doug Collins leading and Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptlst Church Senior Pastor Dr. Raphael Warnock and a Democrat in second. Matt Lieberman, a Democrat and the son of former CT Senator Joe Lieberman is competitive. Kelly Loeffler, the appointed Senator who sold what now appears to be $18 million of stock after being briefed about the Coronavirus, is probably no longer competitive. I wrote a Note two months ago urging readers to support Dr. Warnock. Look for it.
In the regular election, Democrats will have a primary to select who runs against incumbent Republican David Perdue. Jon Ossoff https://electjon.com is leading in the polls. He is at more than 30%. The other two are around 15% each. He should win the primary and be the favorite for the runoff.
We should all remember Jon Ossoff. In 2017, he ran in a special election against Karen Handler for GA 06. I wrote a Note on February 10, 2017 urging readers to support him. My Political Note #2. Ultimately, he softened Handler up for defeat in the November, 2018 election by Lucy McBath.
When Jon Ossoff announced his campaign, he said he would “mount a ruthless assault on corruption in our political system.” He comes honestly to that view of the world. He also comes as a very young man. At thirty-three, he would be the youngest person in the US Senate. Despite his age, he would come to the job prepared.
=John Ossoff is an Atlantan with an unusual education. He attended the Paideia School there. The Paideia approach, conceived by Mortimer Adler calls for Socratic seminars based on discussions of works of art or actual texts (The Great Books approach at St. John’s College comes from similar ideas). Students exam the art or texts and consider ideals and values. While in high school, Jon Ossoff served as an intern with Congressman John Lewis. At Georgetown University, he earned a BS from the School of Foreign Service. He is particularly conscious of the value of having taken courses with former Secretary of State Madeline Albright and former Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren. In 2013, he went to London to get an MS at the London School of Economics.
Jon Ossoff’s family has had an interest in Democratic politics. His mother co-founded a PAC to support women running for local office in Georgia. While an undergraduate and in between degrees, Jon Ossoff worked on national security issues for Congressman Hank Johnson in Congress. Away from Congress and campaigns, film making has been the principal expression of his political views. He has documented, largely filming in secret, judges taking bribes in Ghana and ISIS atrocities in Iraq.
Jon Ossoff is not a radical young man. His view of corruption — bribed judges, cruel fanatics – is not a socialist or even a social democratic picture of corporate society as inevitably corrupt. He’s an ambitious young man who, when even younger, learned to think about ideals and values.
John Ossoff is good at raising money. He has had to be. His campaign to be elected to Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District set records, at the time, for money spent on a Congressional race. Raising money is equally important in 2020. In January, the incumbent Republican reported having raised $10.6 million for this campaign. He reported starting the year with nearly $8 million.
Jon Ossoff https://electjon.com has raised double his primary opponents and started the year with four or five times as much as they had. But he has a lot of catching ujp to do to come close to the incumbent. He reported having raised $2.3 million and starting the year with $1.5 million. Give him some money. He will be the Democratic nominee and winning in November will be a challenge. Georgia voters will see a state-wide balanced ticket composed of interesting candidates. Roman Catholic Presidential candidate Joe Biden, African American Pastor Raphael Warnock, and Jon Ossoff, an American Jew and wunderkind. A Democratic sweep of Georgia for President, for both Senate positions, would transform Georgia politics.
Help these Senate candidates. A surprising number of these candidates just might win and flip the Senate. Check the our website for more complete descriptions of candidates described in bold. You can find those pieces at Lenspoliticalnotes.com
IN THE WEST
Alaska Physician and Commercial Fisherman Al Gross is my personal favorite to surprise the pros by defeating the get along incumbent Daniel Sullivan
Arizona Astronaut Mark Kelly, gun safety leader with his wife former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, seems in a position to defeat appointed Senator and former Member of Congress Martha McSally
Colorado Former Governor John Hickenlooper or for House Speaker Andrew Romanoff should be able to defeat the most vulnerable Republican Senator Cory Gardner
Idaho Businesswoman Nancy Harris would like to oust the incumbent James Risch.
Montana Steve Bullock, popular Democratic Governor of Montana, was persuaded to oppose corporate-oriented incumbent Steve Daines. Bullock has been elected in three state-wide elections in Montana.
SOUTH DAKOTA, Businessman Dan Ahlers in trying to make a run at Incumbent Mike Rounds.
TEXAS Pilot MJ Hegar should win the primary run off and get the opportunity to run against the increasingly unpopular Incumbent John Cornyn.
IN THE MIDWEST
Iowa Businesswoman and civic leader Theresa Greenfield is well positioned to defeat the unpopular incumbent Joni Ernst.
Kansas Physician and former Republican State Senator Barbara Boliier is a part of a movement of moderats to the Democratic Party from Kansas’s radical Republicans. She would be the favorite if Republicans nominate Secretary of State Kris Kobach
Michigan Incumbent Democrat Gary Peters has a tough opponent in African-American Businessman John James, who ran a strong face for governor in 2018. Part of flipping the Senate is keeping Democratic incumbents in their seats.
IN THE SOUTH (MAKE THE SOUTH DEMOCRATIC AGAIN, A DIFFERENT KIND OF DEMOCRATIC THIS TIME)
Alabama Begin by reelecting Doug Jones, a hero of the late civil rights movement, prosecutor of KKK members who bombed the Church in Birmingham. He will face either former Senator and Secretary of State Jeff Sessions or former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville.
Arkansas Unlikely to win, but capable of annoying the hell out of incumbent Tom Cotton, Dan Whitfield is an independent worth our affections in a year when the Democrats could not field a candidate.
Georgia (A) Jon Ossoff should win the primary to run against incumbent David Perdue. Something is happening in Georgia where questions remain about the gubernatorial election in 2018.
Georgia (B) The Reverend Dr. Raphael Warnock, Senior Pastor at the Ebenezer Baptist Church of Atlanta, the church of MLK Sr. and Jr. is the candidate we should all support. This is a special election, called because the Republican incumbent resigned. Three Democrats and two Republicans, including the infamous stock trader incumbent Kelly Loeffler, are running in a non-Partisan primary which will have a run-off for the top to vote getters. We need to be sure that a Democrat is one of the top two. That should be The Reverend Dr. Warnock.
Kentucky Retired Marine Pilot Amy McGrath and conservative Democrat should win the primary and raise enough money to have a chance to defeat the odious Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
Mississippi Mike Espy was Mississippi’s first African American Member of Congress and Secretary of Agriculture under Bill Clinton. He resigned to fight and be cleared of a phony scandal. He was back in 2018, but lost Cindy Hyde-Smith who is now the incumbent,
North Carolina. Businessman, environmentalist, and veteran, Can Cunningham is developing a small lead over Incumbent Thom Tillis, reviled by many Republicans for flip floppery.
South Carolina Personable and persuasive, former Party Chair Jaime Harrison is targeting the odious incumbent, former moderate Republican Lindsay Graham. If Harrison can win, South Carolina will have two African American Senators, one Republican and one Democrat
Tennessee Attorney, former military pilot, and Rabbinical Spouse James Mackler is running for an open seat in Tennessee.
AND THEN THERE IS ONE IN THE NORTHEAST
Maine Speaker of the House, Sara Gideon is opening up a small lead over another odious, former moderate Senator, Susan Collins. As will all of these Democrats, to a greater or smaller degree, sufficient resources will make a Democratic Senate a probability.