clear
Saturday December 16th, 2017 3:39PM

Speaker helps GOP candidate in competitive Georgia race

By The Associated Press

DUNWOODY, Ga. (AP) — The top congressional Republican is providing campaign help to Karen Handel in her surprisingly competitive House race against Democratic newcomer Jon Ossoff in a Georgia district that has been in GOP hands for nearly four decades.

Speaker Paul Ryan is appearing in the traditionally conservative suburbs of metro Atlanta on Monday for Handel. She faces a June 20 matchup against Ossoff, who has become a national face for opposition to President Donald Trump.

Polls suggest Georgia's 6th Congressional District race is a tossup, despite having been held by Republicans since 1979.

Scores of Handel supporters and several dozen protesters — most of them directing their criticism at Ryan — gathered Monday at an Atlanta-area hotel ahead of the rally.

Along with a May 25 special election in Montana, the Georgia race is viewed as a barometer for how Trump and Republicans' monopoly control of Washington are playing with voters back home.

Democrats need to flip 24 seats to reclaim a House majority and oust Ryan as speaker.

Handel, an established face in Georgia politics as a former secretary of state, tries to downplay the national significance of her contest.

"This about who is the best person to go to Washington and represent the interests and priorities of residents of the 6th District," she said while campaigning at a local town festival this past weekend.

She's targeting residents like Jim Paine, a former Alpharetta city councilman, who cited Handel's previous elected experience. "She has done it in county government and state government, and she's done it in the district," Paine said, taking a dig at Ossoff, a 30-year-old who lives just south of the district line in Atlanta.

Handel said in an interview that she would have voted with Ryan on the GOP health care bill. She also said Trump's move to fire James Comey as FBI director was "probably overdue." She echoes Ryan in saying there's no need for a special prosecutor to probe potential ties among Trump's presidential campaign and Russian interests. Handel said she trusts the Senate Intelligence Committee to handle any inquiries.

"We should let the process play out," she told AP.

Outside the hotel, Rebecca Ferrante said Ryan's actions on the health care bill convinced her to demonstrate. The 60-year-old from Roswell, where Handel lives as well, said consumer protections in the Affordable Care Act are what allows her — a breast cancer survivor and a heart patient — to have medical care.

"Thank God we have insurance and can meet our expenses," she said, "and they want to make that harder, if not impossible."

Handel, who says she and her husband also buy insurance on an Affordable Care Act exchange, argues that patients like Ferrante would still have reliable coverage through subsidized high-risk pools included in the House GOP plan.

Said Ferrante, "I don't trust that. I don't trust them."

The speaker's rally with Handel comes two weeks after Trump held a fundraiser for Handel while he was in Georgia to address the National Rifle Association.

The candidates, parties and independent groups are on pace to make this the most expensive House race ever, with a final tab that could exceed $30 million — the overwhelming majority of it from outside the district.

A political action committee tied to Ryan and House Republican leaders already has committed more than $5 million, much of it on television ads assailing Ossoff as too liberal for the district.

After appearing with Handel, the speaker is hosting at least one closed fundraiser to benefit his campaign accounts for his own re-election and to support other Republican candidates.

__

Follow Barrow on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BillBarrowAP .

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Presidential Election News, General House Election News, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Online Headlines - Georgia News, AP Elections - Campaigns
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Global tailpipe tests vastly underestimate diesel pollution
Researchers find government lab tests don't accurately measure real-world tailpipe pollution from diesel trucks, buses and cars
11:52AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Cyberattack wave ebbs, but experts see risk of more
The worldwide cyberattack has ebbed in intensity, but experts warn that new versions of the virus could emerge
11:46AM ( 15 minutes ago )
German neo-Nazi who fled to avoid prison arrested in Hungary
Munich prosecutors say a notorious German neo-Nazi who fled the country to avoid prison has been arrested in Hungary
11:43AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Far-right scoffs at new French prime minister
The National Front party of beaten far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen is criticizing the appointment of Edouard Philippe as France's prime minister, calling it "a synthesis of the worst of the right and the worst of the left."
11:00AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Philippe moves in as French prime minister
Edouard Philippe is moving into his new offices as France's prime minister, meeting at the Matignon palace with its previous occupant, his predecessor Bernard Cazeneuve
10:07AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Far-left leader hostile to new PM
France's far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon, hoping to turn his strong showing in the presidential campaign into seats in parliament, has reacted with hostility to Edouard Philippe's appointment as prime minister
10:04AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Elections
The Latest: Paper says Comey didn't pledge loyalty to Trump
The New York Times reports that former FBI Director James Comey declined to pledge loyalty to President Donald Trump during a dinner the two men shared in January.
10:58PM ( 3 days ago )
Trump Jr. urges support for Republican in US House race
Donald Trump Jr., the president's son, urged voters at an East Helena rally to support Republican Greg Gianforte in the upcoming special election for Montana's US House seat
7:29PM ( 3 days ago )
The Latest: Trump denies collusion between campaign, Russia
President Donald Trump says there was "no collusion between me and my campaign and the Russians."
6:49PM ( 3 days ago )
General House Election News
Collapsed interstate bridge in Georgia reopens to traffic
A key section of interstate highway through Atlanta has partially reopened, six weeks after a highway bridge collapsed because of a large fire.
7:41PM ( 2 days ago )
Cagle promises 500,000 new jobs in Georgia governor campaign
Casey Cagle will launch his campaign for governor on Sunday with a pledge to add half a million new jobs in Georgia in four years if voters choose him to replace term-limited Gov. Nathan Deal.
12:11PM ( 2 weeks ago )
Senate confirms Sonny Perdue as agriculture secretary
The Senate on Monday confirmed former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to be agriculture secretary in President Donald Trump's administration as the farming industry looks to Washington for help amid a downturn in the market.
8:55PM ( 2 weeks ago )
AP Online - Georgia News
Trump urges Liberty U grads to stand up to criticism
President Donald Trump on Saturday urged graduates of Liberty University to follow their convictions but also to be willing to stand up to criticism
2:10PM ( 1 day ago )
Trump lawyers: Documents show no undisclosed Russian income
Trump lawyers says review of 10 years of Trump tax returns show no undisclosed income from Russian sources
2:25AM ( 2 days ago )
The Latest: Sessions to interview FBI candidates Saturday
Justice Department officials on Saturday will interview four candidates to succeed ousted FBI Director James Comey
8:40PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Elections - Campaigns
Global tailpipe tests vastly underestimate diesel pollution
Researchers find government lab tests don't accurately measure real-world tailpipe pollution from diesel trucks, buses and cars
11:52AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Cyberattack wave ebbs, but experts see risk of more
The worldwide cyberattack has ebbed in intensity, but experts warn that new versions of the virus could emerge
11:46AM ( 15 minutes ago )
German neo-Nazi who fled to avoid prison arrested in Hungary
Munich prosecutors say a notorious German neo-Nazi who fled the country to avoid prison has been arrested in Hungary
11:43AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Syrian activists: Airstrikes on IS-held areas kill dozens
Syrian activists say air raids on an Islamic State-held village and town in Syria have killed at least 32 civilians over the past two days
11:37AM ( 24 minutes ago )
Trump taps Callista Gingrich to be ambassador to the Vatican
The Trump administration has tapped the wife of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to be the next U.S. ambassador to the Vatican
11:27AM ( 34 minutes ago )