Tia Lynn Ivey
As the March 24 Georgia Primary Election fast approaches, candidates are stepping up their campaign efforts, crisscrossing the state to win voter support. Last week, Jon Ossoff, the 32-year-old Democratic hopeful vying to become the party’s candidate for the Class 2 U.S. Senate seat, visited the Morgan County Democrats meeting at Calvary Baptist Church in Madison.
Ossoff is one of seven Democrats competing to go up against sitting Republican Senator David Perdue in the November 2020 General Election.
Ossoff plead his case to Morgan County Democrats, vowing to “turn Georgia Blue” in order to fight against corruption on the federal level to ensure progressive policies, such as healthcare reform, gun control, and climate protections, are enacted not only in Georgia, but throughout the entire nation.
“Political corruption threatens our republic and the future of the planet,” said Ossoff Thursday evening. “Now we’re building a movement to mount an all-out attack on corruption in Washington, starting with President Donald Trump and Georgia Senator David Perdue…I believe we are called to stand up to the abuse of power. And when we stand up together, we will win.”
Ossoff made a name for himself during his political debut as a candidate for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District 2017, raising $30 million for his run. While he ended up narrowly losing the race to Republican Karen Handel, his fundraising efforts and polling numbers gave Handel’s campaign a run for their money.
“When I ran for Congress in the 6th District, no one would have thought we would make that race competitive, let alone the biggest congressional race in Georgia’s history,” said Ossoff. “Hundreds of thousands of people got behind that campaign…I look back on that race and I hold my head high.”
Before venturing into politics, Ossoff worked as an investigative journalist and a CEO of Insight TWI, a film production company producing documentaries exposing corruption.
“This is what I do,” said Ossoff, who accused President Donald Trump and other Republican lawmakers of corruption and abuse of power.
“David Perdue has got to go, y’all,” proclaimed Ossoff.
Perdue,cousin to Sonny Perdue and the former CEO of Reebok, Dollar General, and Pillowtex, took office in 2015 after defeating Democrat Michelle Nunn in the 2014 election.
“David Perdue and Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell are robbing this country of our dignity and our integrity…There is a deep corruption afflicting this country right now.”
Ossoff also took aim at U.S. policies spanning multiple administrations, including endless foreign wars, tax cuts for the wealthy, bank bailouts, and climate degradation.
“We have squandered trillions of dollars on needless war and the brutal human costs in lives and limbs,” said Ossoff. “But there’s no money for Medicaid and Medicare?” Ossoff believes America’s penchant for wars, tax cuts for the wealthy, and corporate influence has stood in the way of accomplishing healthcare reform, gun control legislation, and other sorely needed domestic initiatives.
“One in three children in rural Georgia live in poverty, We have the highest mortal maternity rate in the country–higher than Uzbekistan. For black women, higher than Iraq,” said Ossoff, who also noted that Georgia leaders refused to expand Medicaid and Medicare. He also pointed out that 79 counties in Georgia do not have obstetrician, adding to the complications arising in pregnancy and lack of prenatal care available to Georgia women. “What are our leaders doing about it? Not a thing.”
Ossoff pledged to advocate for the expansion of Medicaid and Medicare, as well as to establish a Public Option for health insurance and lowering the cost of prescription drugs. He also promised to support “sensible” gun control measures such as universal criminal background checks.
“There is deep corruption in this country when nine out of 10 Americans, including gun owners, believe you should have to pass a criminal background check,” said Ossoff, who laid blame at the feet of the NRA and gun manufacturing lobby.
“The NRA represents gun manufacturers and gun dealers, not responsible gun owners,” said Ossoff.
Ossoff also voiced support for raising the minimum wage, cutting taxes for working families, investing in affordable housing, clean energy and infrastructure, and securing health care for all Americans.
“Often times we are persuaded to think that the country is so deeply polarized, but most citizens, and most Georgians, agree that everyone should have healthcare, infrastructure, and clean energy.”
He also encouraged the crowd to double check their voter registration in light of Georgia’s tainted voting system.
“Jim Crow is alive in the South,” said Ossoff, arguing voting rights has been under assault in the State of Georgia.
After chastising Perdue for his policy positions and refusing to hold Town Halls to hear from his constituents, Ossoff vowed to win U.S. Senate seat.
“Now I am running to defeat David Perdue and the people enabling this president. They don’t just need to lose, they need to lose bad,” said Ossoff. “We are poised now to make a change…The wind is at our backs and we are on the right side of history.”
Ossoff will compete for the nomination against other running Democrats in the March 24 primaries, including Sarah Riggs Amico, who ran for lieutenant governor in 2018; Teresa Tomlinson, a former mayor of Columbus; and Ted Terry, the mayor of Clarkston.