President Trump is taunting the 30-year-old Democratic candidate seen as the leader in Tuesday’s special election to fill a Georgia House seat, claiming Jon Ossoff is soft on crime and big on raising taxes.
“The super Liberal Democrat in the Georgia Congressioal race tomorrow wants to protect criminals, allow illegal immigration and raise taxes!” he tweeted Monday.
The super Liberal Democrat in the Georgia Congressioal race tomorrow wants to protect criminals, allow illegal immigration and raise taxes!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 17, 2017
The long-distance razzing comes after Trump suggested over the weekend that the media were playing up the Georgia election just like they did with last week’s special election in Kansas, “until the Republicans won.”
But unlike with the Kansas race last week, the Democrat is widely expected to lead the voting in Tuesday’s contest in Georgia. Ossoff has benefited from the state’s crowded “jungle primary,” in which 18 candidates are competing and Ossoff has managed to distinguish himself among the Democrats. The goal of the 11 Republicans running is to prevent Ossoff from reaching a majority. If they can, Ossoff and the top GOP vote-getter would meet in a June 20 runoff.
The contest is being held for the seat once occupied by Tom Price, now Trump’s secretary of Health and Human Services.
The 6th District contest has attracted widespread national interest – and funding – as Democrats try to turn it into a referendum on Trump.
Ossoff, a former congressional aide and investigative filmmaker, has played to that environment, focusing one recent ad on claims that Trump is acting “impulsively” and “could start an unnecessary war.”
The strategy is paying off. Ossoff has raised more than $8 million.
"Jon is being bankrolled by the most extreme liberals," said Republican candidate Karen Handel, referring to Ossoff's fundraising haul. "No one is naive enough to think that he will not be beholden to those who are bankrolling him."
For his part, Ossoff pledges to be an "independent voice" in Congress, and he defends his campaign as a grassroots success powered by small and medium donors.
The Republican leaders appear to be Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state; technology executive Bob Gray; and two former state senators, Dan Moody and Judson Hill — all of whom national Republicans say could defeat Ossoff in a second round.
Fox News’ Griff Jenkins and The Associated Press contributed to this report.