30-year-old Jon Ossoff has a very real chance of winning the special election in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District tonight.
This is a big deal because it would flip the sixth district from red to blue for the first time in decades. No Democrat has represented Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District since 1979; the last Democratic representative from the district was John J. Flynt, Jr., who served from 1965 to 1979.
In 1978, John J. Flynt, Jr. decided not to seek re-election, and he was succeeded by Newt Gingrich. Gingrich went on to serve for 20 years, being re-elected 10 times. In 1999, Newt Gingrich retired and left the seat vacated, and therefore a special election was called.
The winner of that special election was Johnny Isakson, another Republican. Isakson served from 1999 to 2005, when he retired to run for United States Senate; Isakson currently serves as a senator representing Georgia.
In 2004, Tom Price was elected to represent Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District. Price served for 12 years, being re-elected six times. But in 2017, he resigned to become secretary of Health and Human Services.
As a result, a special election was called and scheduled for April 18th, 2017. Since the election was called, Jon Ossoff has been polling consistently well, although he does not have as much competition on his side of the aisle, and the Republicans are divided between 11 candidates.
Of the Republican candidates, the one who has been polling the best has been Karen Handel, although Bob Gray is also a strong contender.
On Twitter this week, Democrats used the hashtag #FlipTheSixth to promote the election and encourage progressives to get out and vote in hopes of turning the Georgia district blue for the first time in nearly four decades.
During the 2016 election, Donald Trump won Georgia’s Sixth Congressional district, but it was by a smaller margin than recent Republican nominees. Trump won 48 percent of the vote in the state, but four years ago, Mitt Romney won 61 percent of the vote, and before him, John McCain won 62 percent of the vote.