Politics

DCCC Invests Additional $1 Million to Attack Handel in Georgia

TV and digital ads attack Karen Handel as ‘career politician’

The DCCC is going after Karen Handel’s spending record as Georgia Secretary of State. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced $1 million in TV and digital spending Wednesday to attack GOP nominee Karen Handel in Georgia’s 6th District.

The Democratic campaign arm is attacking Handel as “another self-serving politician” in the TV ad, which is running on Atlanta broadcast and cable. The spot alleges that as Georgia secretary of state Handel increased her office’s spending and used taxpayer dollars to pay for a “luxury SUV” and foreign travel. 

A series of short digital ads underscore a similar message. The ads are part of Democrats’ efforts to paint Handel as a “career politician” who’s run twice for statewide office and lost.  

Handel is running against Democrat Jon Ossoff, who fell short of winning outright the 18-candidate primary last month. They’ll face each other in the June 20 special election. An internal poll from the Ossoff campaign earlier this week showed a closed race, with Ossoff leading Handel by 1 point — well within the margin of error. 

The race is quickly becoming one of the most expensive House races, with GOP outside groups pouring in money to defend what has traditionally been a safe Republican seat. Congressional Leadership Fund last week announced an additional $3.5 million in spending in the district.

The National Republican Congressional Committee has reserved $4.1 million in radio and TV advertising for the runoff. Republicans pushed back on the DCCC's attacks Wednesday afternoon.

Nancy Pelosi and the liberal Hollywood actors bankrolling Ossoff’s campaign are trying to distract from his lack of actual experience," an NRCC spokesman said. "Unlike Jon Ossoff, whose resume could fit on a cocktail napkin, Karen Handel had a positive impact on Georgians’ lives and has a real record of accomplishment.”

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the seat a Tossup

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.