Ossoff raises another $15 million in Ga. congressional race, setting new record

ATLANTA — Democrat Jon Ossoff reported another record fundraising haul Thursday in the race for Georgia’s 6th District by raising an additional $15.3 million in roughly the last two months.

He’s now raised a total of $23 million in the hotly contested race to represent the suburban Atlanta district, after collecting more than $8.3 million in advance of April 18’s special election. The 58,000 page filing was to be uploaded later Thursday.

It was not immediately clear how much of the donations came from out of state, but his last report showed only about 1 in 20 contributions were from Georgia residents. His campaign said the average donation was $20.49.

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Republican Karen Handel, his opponent in the June 20 runoff, has yet to report her fundraising totals.

The staggering fundraising report underscores the national attention on the contest, considered a must-win by both parties. Costing more than $40 million overall, the race is by far the most expensive U.S. House election in the nation’s history.

An Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis shows that includes about $25 million spent or reserved for advertising since April 18, when Handel and Ossoff notched spots in the June 20 runoff. Democrats have outspent Republicans by nearly $2 million in the runoff phase.

Handel has a history of struggling to raise cash, hobbling her previous campaigns for governor and U.S. Senate. She took in more than $460,000 in her earlier fundraising report — an otherwise respectable take that paled in comparison to Ossoff.

She seems certain to far exceed that total this fundraising cycle. She’s had fundraisers with President Donald Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan and other GOP leaders. And she is set to hold another event Friday with Vice President Mike Pence.

Her campaign has also been buoyed by a flood of outside spending since her No. 2 finish in the first round of voting. While Handel has reserved about $2.2 million in ad spending through the runoff, GOP groups have reinforced her with more than $9 million in additional spending.

Ossoff is getting backup as well: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has spent $4.3 million in the runoff phase, and other left-leaning groups have chipped in around $500,000. But his fundraising heft means Democrats have outspent Republicans in the contest.

Contrast the flood of spending in Georgia with the other recent House special elections. Montana’s air wars cost about $10 million, though Democrats only reluctantly helped Rob Quist after weeks of attack ads from GOP groups. And less than $200,000 was spent by outside groups in the Kansas race.

Both those contests were fought over reliably Republican districts that Donald Trump won by 20 points or more. And in both, national Democrats were squeamish about pumping in more resources into campaigns they saw as doomed.

View the original article: http://www.sfexaminer.com/ossoff-raises-another-15-million-ga-congressional-race-setting-new-record/

Georgia’s 6th District, which spans from east Cobb to north DeKalb, has also long been a GOP stronghold. But Trump won the district by less than 2 points, and Democrats were buoyed by Ossoff’s near-miss of an outright victory on April 18.

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