The ad, which will run in the Atlanta media market and online through the all-candidate primary on April 18, further heats up an off-year election in what has long been a safe Republican district.
Price resigned to become health and human services secretary, creating an open seat. Democrats are optimistic that they might win because President Trump badly under-performed there last fall. While Mitt Romney pulled 61 percent of the vote in 2012, Trump got just 48 percent in Georgia’s 6th district.
Ossoff has tapped into progressive grassroots frustration with Trump, raising nearly $2 million online. The top two finishers in the April primary will face each other in a run-off, and the Republican field is very crowded. That’s why the outside group is coming in to bloody the Democrat.
The main argument of the ad is that Ossoff is unserious and not ready to be a congressman. It opens with tracker footage, filmed just last week, of the first-time candidate saying that he spent five years as a national security staffer and then notes that this timeline would have included a stretch when he was still in school.
Ossoff worked part-time in the office of Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) as a student, from 2007 to 2009, and then joined the office full-time after getting his degree that June, eventually focusing on national security issues and getting a top-secret security clearance.
“Ossoff wasn’t exactly fighting against terrorism,” a narrator says over the footage. “He was fighting against restrictions on keg parties. You see, Ossoff was just a college kid, doing things like dressing up with his drinking buddies and pretending to be Han Solo.”
The Star Wars spoof was apparently filmed as part of a video to protest Georgetown’s alcohol policy.
Asked for comment, the Ossoff campaign sent a statement from Johnson, the congressman he worked for and an early endorser: “This is absurd. Jon spent five years working on national security issues for me. … Washington political operatives are coming into Georgia to spread false personal attacks – it’s what the American people are sick and tired of.”
Corry Bliss, the executive director of the Congressional Leadership Fund, said Ossoff is trying to mislead people about the nature of his experience and said that they have more attacks to come. “It is sad that the hope of the Democratic Party rests on a 30-year-old frat boy who has spent his adult life living outside of Georgia’s 6th district,” said Bliss.
CLF, and its sister nonprofit, the American Action Network, spent more than $48 million on 27 contests in the 2016 cycle.
House Republicans started 2017 with a 241 to 194 majority. If Democrats are going to win control of the chamber in the midterms, they will need to find a way to pull off upsets in districts like Price’s.