Ossoff Pens WaPo Op-Ed on What Democrats ‘Won in Georgia’ After Losing Special Election


Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff

Georgia Democratic congressional candidate Jon Ossoff penned a Washington Post column on Monday headlined "What Democrats won in Georgia" after losing the most expensive House race in U.S. history last week.

Later, the headline was changed to "Lessons for Democrats from the Georgia election," although the article did not note when the change was made.

Ossoff lost by four points to Republican candidate Karen Handel in the special election for Georgia's sixth congressional district seat, which Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price vacated earlier this year. Viewed as the Democrats' best chance to win a race in 2017, the election received national attention.

Ossoff failed to address why he never chose to live in the sixth district in his column, a constant sore spot on the campaign trail, but he did blame the "right wing's national apparatus" and "a seat gerrymandered never to be competitive" in his piece.

He praised his team for putting "grass-roots organizing and personal contact with voters above all else," but he also did not mention that the vast majority of his donations, more than 95 percent, came from outside Georgia.

Despite the defeat, Ossoff recapped his campaign platform in his piece:

 We ran an economy-first campaign centered on local prosperity and opportunity. I focused on the development of metro Atlanta into a world-class commercial capital, on affordable higher education and technical training, on research and development to drive innovation in Georgia's tech sector, on renewal of our transportation infrastructure and a commitment to fiscal responsibility, on pointing out that taxpayers are rightfully upset that the federal government wastes hundreds of billions of dollars per year.

We paired this economic platform with an unwavering support for a woman's right to choose, Americans with preexisting conditions, criminal-justice reform, Medicare and Medicaid, voting rights, immigration reform, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, anti-corruption efforts, and U.S. leadership to fight climate change. We built a coalition that generated massive Democratic turnout, engaged communities long ignored by local political leadership, and final vote tallies will likely show that we won a majority of independents. And in districts like Georgia's 6th, we will not compete unless we build coalitions.

"We lost," Ossoff acknowledged at the end of the column, but he wrote he was proud of the campaign and was not "done fighting."

UPDATE: June 27, 12:41 P.M.: This was article was updated to show Ossoff's column's headline was changed from its original published title.