FILE - In this June 20, 2017, file photo, Democratic candidate for 6th congressional district Jon Ossoff concedes to Republican Karen Handel at his election night party in Atlanta. Ossoff, D-Ga., will challenge Republican U.S. Sen. David Perdue in 2020, the Democrat tweeted Monday night, Sept. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

Ossoff to challenge Perdue for US Senate seat in Georgia

September 10, 2019 - 12:35 am

ATLANTA (AP) — Former congressional candidate Jon Ossoff said Monday night that he's challenging Republican Sen. David Perdue in 2020 for a Georgia seat that could help determine control of the Senate.

Ossoff, the fourth Democrat to join the race, announced his bid during an appearance on "The Last Word" on MSNBC.

"I'm running because we face a crisis of political corruption in this country," Ossoff told host, Lawrence O'Donnell, calling Perdue a "caricature of Washington corruption."

Ossoff cited Congress not taking up gun control legislation and political influence at scientific institutions as examples of corruption.

Perdue, a former Fortune 500 chief executive, has emerged as a close ally of President Donald Trump after being elected in 2014.

Ossoff says he'll work to expand his network of supporters who helped him raise roughly $30 million in a 2017 special election he lost to Republican Karen Handel by about four points in Georgia's 6th Congressional District.

Perdue's isn't the only Georgia Senate seat that Ossoff could have run for. A special election to fill the remaining two years of Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson's term will also be on the November 2020 ballot, after Isakson announced his retirement late last month due to health issues.

The two open Senate seats have raised Georgia's status as a must-watch 2020 battleground.

While Ossoff will face a primary contest, the race for Isakson's seat won't have any primary and will instead be open to all qualified candidates, significantly increasing the likelihood of a runoff.

Ossoff, 32, joins 2018 candidate for Georgia Lt. Gov. Sarah Riggs Amico, former Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson and Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry seeking the Democratic nomination in the race against Perdue.

The field began to form after former Democratic candidate for Georgia governor, Stacey Abrams, announced in April that she would not run for the seat after being heavily recruited to.

National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Nathan Brand called Ossoff an "unaccomplished, far-left candidate" in a statement.

Brand said Ossoff's "extreme left-wing views will fit in with the rest of the crowded Democratic primary but will stand in sharp contrast to David Perdue's positive record of delivering results for all of Georgia."

Ossoff says on a newly launched website that he's "building a movement to mount an all-out attack on corruption in Washington — starting with President Donald Trump and Georgia Senator David Perdue."

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