ATLANTA - Jon Ossoff fell just short of the majority needed for an outright victory in the 6th Congressional District special election on April 18, drawing 48.1 percent of the vote. That put the Democrat in the June 20 runoff.
Ossoff led an 18-candidate field of Republicans, Democrats and independents, the entire slate placed on a single ballot to choose a successor to Republican Tom Price, who resigned to join Trump's administration as health secretary.
National leaders in both major parties agreed the Georgia race is a prime test run for the 2018 election cycle, because the affluent, well-educated district is replete with the kind of voters Democrats must win over to have any chance at reclaiming a House majority and winning more governor's races.
Ossoff has tried to capitalize on anti-Trump energy while still appealing to independents and moderate Republicans in the conservative district.
Ossoff acknowledges that he lives a few miles south of the district, in Atlanta, so that his girlfriend is closer to her work at Emory University's medical complex.
Until he joined the race in January, Ossoff was unknown to most Democrats even in metro Atlanta. But he entered the crowded field with endorsements from U.S. Reps. Hank Johnson and John Lewis and $250,000 in cash. He parlayed that into an unprecedented $8.3 million fundraising haul, with donations from across the country, and he emerged as face in the resistance to President Donald Trump.
Ossoff’s interest in politics was first stirred as a 17-year-old student at the Paideia School when he read Lewis’ autobiography and was moved to ask the congressman for a job. That turned into an internship in the Atlanta Democrat’s Washington office. As a student at Georgetown University, Ossoff volunteered for Johnson’s 2006 campaign to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney. Ossoff rose to become the deputy communications chief of the campaign, and after Johnson’s congressional victory, Ossoff worked as a legislative aide to the new congressman.
After leaving Johnson’s office, Ossoff — who also is a graduate of the London School of Economics — joined a filmmaking firm, and the topics of his documentaries include corrupt judges in Ghana and atrocities that the Islamic State committed in Iraq.
A financial disclosure shows Ossoff has more than $1.7 million in assets, including more than $250,000 in Apple stock and an additional $50,000 in Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway investment firm. His England-based documentary company, Insight TWI, is valued at more than $250,000. He also has a stake of at least $50,000 in NWC Partnership, a solar panel installation firm.
The Associated Press and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributed to this article.
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