Races to Watch: Georgia’s Jon Ossoff Could Ride Blue Wave Into the Senate

Jon Ossoff, who nearly pulled off an upset to win a congressional seat in 2017, is now giving Republican incumbent Senator David Perdue fits — the young challenger, has made the Senator’s integrity the central issue of the race.  Ossoff’s position on “the environment” makes clear that he sees climate change as a crisis — “out-of-control pollution is fast changing the climate, destroying ecosystems, killing off species, and damaging human health. The scientific consensus is unambiguous: if pollution from fossil fuel combustion is not controlled, the consequences will be dire.”  He frames the policy response in terms of jobs and clean energy and building back better after the pandemic.  Perdue, on the other hand, is a climate denier who supports President Trump’s policies.

Why This Matters:  The biggest issue in the race is Perdue’s alleged stock insider trading on news of COVID-19’s seriousness before it was public.  But Georgians have plenty of reasons to care about climate and environment issues — environmental justice, sea-level rise, a water shortage and dispute over it with Florida, and a massive new mine near the Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. Ossoff was so effective in their second debate, Perdue pulled out of the third one.  Ossoff could ride the blue wave if Democrats vote in large numbers in suburban Atlanta.

Ossoff’s Stinging Attack

Senator Perdue, the former CEO of Dollar General Stores, decided to not show to what would have been the final debate with Ossoff because, during their second debate, Ossoff called him a crook.  Senator Perdue was accused of profiting from confidential information he received about coronavirus in late January — he bought stock in a company that sells personal protective equipment right after receiving the briefing on COVID, according to  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.  During the debate, Ossoff caught Sen. Perdue flat-footed when he said, “It’s not just that you’re a crook, Senator.  It’s that you’re attacking the health of the people that you represent. You did say Covid-19 was no deadlier than the flu. You did say there would be no significant uptick in cases. All the while you were looking after your own assets and your own portfolio.”  Perdue seemed dumbfounded — a video of the pivotal moment in the debate went viral. The Senate Ethics Committee cleared Perdue and his campaign said rather than listen to lies by Ossoff the Senator chose to appear at a rally last night with President Trump.  The race is a Tossup according to both The Cook Political Report and Real Clear Politics.

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