ATLANTA -- Democrat Jon Ossoff may have Republican Governor Nathan Deal to thank – at least in part – for his strong showing in polls in the 6th district congressional race. It’s rooted in a decision Republicans made six years ago to draw new lines for the sixth district.
This followed a bitter Republican primary for Governor in 2010, which eventually pitted Nathan Deal and Karen Handel in a runoff. In that runoff, then-congressman Tom Price endorsed Handel.
But Deal won – and a year later, Republicans took away Republican territory from Price’s congressional district – the sixth – and added some Democrats.
At that time, Republicans tell us feelings were still raw over Price’s work to defeat Deal in 2010 .
"The end of the campaign, (Handel) did some very hard hitting ads on Nathan’s character. And ethics. You just don’t forget that stuff overnight," said former state Sen. Chuck Clay, a former state GOP chairman who now works at the Atlanta law firm Nelson Mullins. "Like it or not, if you're a very visible supporter, you’re not blamed on. But you’re included with."
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Republicans said it was part of the reason Price’s 6th district boundaries shifted from heavily Republican Cherokee County to Democratic-leaning DeKalb County.
Price still easily won re-election three times in his newly-redrawn district. However, the district is competitive in an upcoming June runoff between Handel and Ossoff.