We don’t know whether Jon Ossoff will seek a rematch next year against new 6th District Congresswoman Karen Handel, but we do know the Alpharetta Republican will face at least one high-profile Democratic challenger in 2018.
Bobby Kaple, a former TV anchor for CBS 46 in Atlanta, announced his 6th District candidacy Monday, Oct. 9. Kaple quit his TV job in September to make the move into politics.
“Washington is broken. It’s obvious to everyone here in Georgia that the career politicians are more interested in serving the special interests instead of their constituents,” Kaple said in his announcement. “It’s time for a new generation of leaders ready to get things done. We can’t end the dysfunction in Washington if we keep sending career politicians and expecting different results.”
Kaple is making health care the initial focus of his campaign by focusing on his mother’s successful battle against breast cancer and his wife Rebecca’s premature delivery of twins, who spent two weeks in neonatal intensive care at Piedmont Hospital.
“I’m running for Congress because my kids, my mom, my family, and countless friends and neighbors, through no fault of their own, have pre-existing conditions. In Congress, I’ll fight passionately to make sure every American has access to affordable health care,” he said, emphasizing coverage for existing conditions and no lifetime caps on medical expenses.
The Milton Democrat thus takes up the effort to flip the 6th from the Republicans, who have won the district in every congressional election since 1978.
Physician Tom Price in January resigned the seat, previously held by Newt Gingrich and Johnny Isakson, so he could serve as President Donald Trump’s health and human services secretary and lead the effort to repeal and replace Obamacare. That bid has stalled in the Senate, and Price resigned amid criticism of his spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on chartered flights instead of flying commercial.
Political newcomer Ossoff, who is Jewish, emerged as the dominant Democratic candidate in the special election to replace Price and easily won an 18-candidate primary in April but couldn’t build on his lead to gain a majority in the June runoff against veteran Fulton County and state politician Handel. With total spending of about $60 million, it was the most expensive U.S. congressional race ever.
Handel’s subsequent fundraising appeals have focused on the possibility of Ossoff running again, but he has refused to disclose his political plans.
The congressional primaries are set for May 22.