Democrat Jon Ossoff stopped by a Dunwoody block party on Sunday, June 4, to meet and greet with residents and urge people to get out to the polls in the final days before the June 20 runoff with Republican Karen Handel.
The nation and the world are watching this campaign, Ossoff said, to see what kind of statement the 6th Congressional District will make.
“I want to thank all of you who have made such an extraordinary commitment not to me, not to a political party, not even to a campaign, but to a set of ideas and principles and values,” Ossoff said. “[And] our shared commitment in this community to decency, to basic standards of respect on the part of our elected representatives in our government that are not represented well today in Washington.”
The block party at the Dunwoody North Driving Club included live music, grilled hot dogs and plenty of children swimming in the pool. Joining Ossoff was his fiancee, Alisha Kramer.
“We wanted to invite our community to come together, to meet our neighbors,” said Laura McEwen, one of nine Dunwoody residents who organized the event. She said she is supporting Ossoff because she also believes health care is a right, not a privilege, and also because she has many LGBT friends and believes in LGBT equality.
“We are interested in having a representative from our state that aligns with our values,” she said. “Jon is coming into our communities and sharing his story and talking to people about his values … We are excited he wanted to launch a grassroots campaign.”
McKewon said her neighborhood has a good mix of Handel and Ossoff supporters and that there is a “lot of room for conversation” where she lives.
For Ann Lafoon, the current political climate made her want to get involved in her first campaign.
“I have two kids and I can’t let them see me do nothing in this political climate,” she said. “I’m supporting [Ossoff] because I am not happy with the Republican Party and I’ve always been a Democrat.”
Ossoff and Handel meet for their first televised debate on Tuesday, June 6, that will air on WSB-TV from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. The two are also slated to meet in a debate on June 8 to be broadcast on WABE public radio. Handel declined to participate in a Dunwoody Homeowners Association debate that Ossoff agreed to and Ossoff this week declined to participate in a CNN/Atlanta Press Club debate that would have aired on CNN on June 13; Handel agreed to the debate on May 31.
The debate about debates has hovered over both candidate’s since April 19, the day after the special election, when Ossoff challenged Handel to six debates.
In a statement, the Atlanta Press Club said it was disappointed Ossoff declined to participate. “The Atlanta Press Club has a 25-year history of providing Georgia voters fair and balanced debates through its Loudermilk-Young Debate Series. We regret Jon Ossoff has declined to be a part of this debate, which would have helped inform the voters of Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District and engaged viewers around the country.”
An Ossoff spokesperson said in a statement to CNN that Ossoff committed only to debates moderated by “the metro Atlanta press corps,” according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.