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Georgia’s 6th Congressional District Race: Most Expensive in State History

  • By: Robert Giannini, Esq.
  • Published: June 29, 2017

In what is being called the most expensive House race in Georgia history, the battle between Jon Ossoff and Karen Handel for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District has finally come to a close. After months of campaigning and vying for the open Congressional seat in the special election, Handel beat out Ossoff by nearly 11,000 votes. Though Ossoff topped the charts in the initial round of voting in April, Handel won the seat with more than four percentage points in her favor.

Handel’s victory was one of a string of Democratic defeats and strengthens Republican support for the White House. It is also a victory in the eyes of many Georgians since Handel is the first female Republican from Georgia ever to be elected to Congress. President Donald Trump kept a watchful eye on the race and showed full support of Handel throughout the election, even taking to Twitter to show his support and to combat Ossoff’s position.

Georgia’s Reaction to the Campaign

The campaign for the open Congressional seat was heated. Georgians were exposed to a plethora of information about Handel and Ossoff, their positions, and their promises. For many Georgia residents, the end of the race signifies not only changes in the state’s politics but also the end of a barrage of television and radio commercials.
Campaign spending on commercials was at an all time high for this election, and Georgians felt the effect of it with repeated negative commercials over the four-month special election. Ossoff consistently berated Handel’s spending and use of tax dollars. Handel linked Ossoff to Nancy Pelosi, questioning multiple stances. Both parties were aggressive in their ad tactics.

In the wake of the election, many Georgians are curious about just how much money was spent and who financed each party’s campaign efforts. Here is some of the most interesting data on the cost of the campaign:

  • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that $42 million was spent or reserved for campaign-related TV and radio ads.
  • Jon Ossoff reportedly spent $14.2 million on ad time and $8 million on other related costs.
  • Karen Handel spent $2.5 million on TV, cable, and radio ad time, and at least $1 million on other related costs.
  • In support of Handel, the National Republican Congressional Committee spent over $6.7 million on ads.

Comparing the amount spent on ads with the amount of campaign funds raised, consider the following:

  • Jon Ossoff’s campaigns raised $23.6 million, compared to Karen Handel’s raising $4.5 million.
  • Of the campaign funds raised, only 14 percent of Ossoff’s came from Georgia, compared to 56 percent of Handel’s.
  • Both parties received sizeable donations from outside the state of Georgia.

Only time will tell how this election will affect Georgians both in the 6th District and in a broader sense. At a time when the battle between Democrats and Republicans is stronger than ever, there is no question that elections like this one will continue to inspire national attention.


Robert Giannini, Esq.

About the Author Attorney Robert “Bob” Giannini handles criminal defense and personal injury
cases throughout the metro Atlanta and north Georgia area. With almost two
decades of experience, Bob has the knowledge and experience...Read More