Hollywood came to Georgia, and lost.
Democrat Jon Ossoff lost his bid on Tuesday night against Republican Karen Handel in Georgia’s Sixth District special congressional election, despite the vociferous support of several celebs.
The seat, which was previously held by former Republican Tom Price, who is now President Trump’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, had garnered serious attention from Democrats, who were hoping the 30-year-old political upstart could leverage celebrity endorsements to help the party reclaim lost momentum.
It didn't work.
Actor Samuel L. Jackson, who helped create a radio ad urging voters to flip the seat, paved the way for Hollywood to get behind Ossoff.
Rosie O’ Donnell, Jane Fonda, Jessica Lange, Sean Daniel, Connie Britton, Sam Waterston, and Kyra Sedgwick were some of many stars who donated to Ossoff’s campaign, while others, like Alyssa Milano, volunteered to go door to door in the suburban Atlanta district.
Comedienne Chelsea Handler famously invited nearly 7 million followers to get out and vote for Ossoff on April 11th — even though the Georgia congressional election wasn’t taking place until April 18th.
The New Yorker reported Ossoff, a documentary filmmaker, raised nearly $2 million by March since declaring his candidacy in early January. He also received online support from actress Debra Messing and “Star Trek” icon George Takei.
However, Ossoff’s celebrity connection may have led to his downfall.
Variety reported several weeks ago that the Congressional Leadership Fund produced an ad that attempted to link Ossoff to Kathy Griffin in the midst of a backlash over the comedienne’s use of a bloody mask of Trump in a controversial photo shoot.
Ossoff’s campaign did object the spot. The publication added the only connection Griffin had to his campaign was that she retweeted a supportive statement about his candidacy.
Griffin’s image was use again in another spot from Principled PAC. With last week’s shooting at a Republican congressional baseball practice, their ad claimed the “unhinged left is endorsing and applauding shooting Republicans.”
Despite his celebrity support, Ossoff insisted on his campaign site that his goal was to help the people of Georgia.
“Our team has taken down human traffickers, exposed dozes of corrupt officials around the world and uncovered atrocities committed by ISIS in Iraq,” he announced. “Previously, I was a senior national security staffer in the U.S. Congress, working with our military and intelligence community to keep Georgians safe while investigating wrongdoing by government contractors.”
“During five years as a Congressional aide, I learned how to get things done in Washington,” he added. “On Capitol Hill and as a journalist, I’ve learned how to expose and fight the abuse of power. I will use my experience and all of my energy to fight for Georgia.”
Ossoff took to Twitter on Tuesday night to thank his supporters: