In April, Georgia voters in the 6th Congressional District, encompassing a large portion of metro Atlanta, voted on replacing Tom Price, who was recently appointed by President Trump to be U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. This kind of voting process is known as a special election, one that occurs outside of the typical parameters of the voting seasons to fill an unexpected vacancy.
From a pool of 18 candidates, Democrat Jon Ossoff prevailed at 48 percent, with Republican Karen Handel coming in at second place with 20 percent of the vote. Ossoff would have needed to hit the 50 percent mark to be declared victor in that first round of voting, but since he was just shy of it, Georgians will once again hit the polls on June 20th for a run-off.
This election is a pretty big deal because this district has not seen a Democrat in office since the later ’70s. The young Jon Ossoff is shaking things up, and many experts say that his rise of popularity is a direct result of President Trump’s election. This kind of move makes it clear that fresh candidates are speaking out against the administration, and they are doing so convincingly. Although the 6th District is known to be more liberal than many other parts of Georgia, its high population could concern Republican senators who are hoping to be re-elected in the 2018 midterm elections.
Now you may be wondering, why does one congressional election in Georgia matter to me if I don’t live there? Well, this one area of the country is looking to be indicative of other voting patterns that may soon reach you. New leaders and voices are coming up in countless communities and counties, and they are bound to affect the next Presidential election. Even President Trump himself has taken to Twitter on this matter by publicly endorsing Karen Handel and criticising Jon Ossoff.
Our political climate has never been this unpredictable. No matter where you live, I encourage you to keep up with your local politicians in much the same way that the Georgians are doing. Become familiar with the various viewpoints that exist in your own community, and they are bound to help you gain clarity of how every change we are experiencing affects people in different ways.
If you are a Georgia citizen in the 6th Congressional District, I encourage you to prepare to vote on June 20th. You can find more information on your voter registration status a and get more info on the candidates here.
[Feature Image by Isabela Espadas Barros Leal]