GA-Sen A: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Son Endorses Teresa Tomlinson (D) In The Democratic Primary

There’s been a lot of news out of Georgia but I wanted to make sure this didn’t get lost in the noise:

Former Columbus mayor Teresa Tomlinson now has the backing of the son of one of the greatest civil rights leaders in history in her bid for the U.S. Senate.
Martin Luther King, III has endorsed Tomlinson in her bid for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by David Perdue.
“I’m asking you to join me in voting for Teresa Tomlinson for U.S. Senate. True leaders exercise bold action to do what is right. As Mayor of Columbus, Georgia, Teresa tackled tough issues and made transformational change. She made Columbus better through good government, and she will do the same for our state and our country in the United States Senate,” King stated.

Things are heating up in the Democratic primary. Tomlinson has been racking up some big endorsements but Jon Ossoff (D. GA) has raised the most money and has already been hitting the airwaves:

Jon Ossoff became the first Democratic U.S. Senate candidate in Georgia to launch a TV ad with the debut of a 30-second spot that focuses on his wife’s role in the fight against the coronavirus before pivoting to an attack on insurance firms.

“We’ll get through this together, but it’s never been clearer we need to stand up to the health insurance companies that have bought off Congress,” Ossoff said in the spot, adding: “I’m not taking their money, and I won’t stop fighting until everyone has great health care.”

The ad, which debuted Tuesday, doesn’t mention Republican U.S. Sen. David Perdue, nor does it target either of his top Democratic rivals. Instead, Ossoff opens by praising his wife, Dr. Alisha Kramer, and other nurses and physicians who put themselves “at risk to save lives during this crisis.”  

The critique of insurance companies may serve as a new theme for his campaign as a June 9 primary coincides with a coronavirus pandemic that has trained intense scrutiny on the shortcomings of the U.S. healthcare system.

In a statement, Ossoff called the cost of insurance and medicine “scandalous” and said he’ll vote to weaken the power that insurance companies and pharmaceutical lobbies have on Washington.

It’s becoming more clear that Tomlinson and Ossoff are the two leading candidates in this primary but all the Democratic candidates are making this an issue:

Sarah Riggs Amico, Jon Ossoff and Teresa Tomlinson are among seven Democrats competing in the June 9 primary election for the right to challenge the Republican incumbent in November. The three appeared in an online forum sponsored by the Washington, D.C.-based Jewish Democratic Council of America and the Jewish Democratic Women’s Salon of Atlanta, which was formed by Sandy Springs residents.

The coronavirus pandemic permeated the forum, starting with its format of being held via the Zoom teleconferencing service. A theme from the candidates and moderator Halie Soifer, the JDCA’s executive director, was criticism of President Trump’s crisis leadership and Perdue’s role as his “sycophant,” “enabler” and similar terms. But the candidates worked their way down to Gov. Brian Kemp, as the forum came a few hours after his controversial announcement that he was allowing some types of businesses to reopen under certain safety guidelines.

Asked by an audience member whether they agreed with Kemp’s action and, if not, when the shutdown should be lifted, the candidates agreed that more testing for the COVID-19 disease is needed first.

Tomlinson, a former mayor of Columbus, Georgia, said that officials are “flying blind” without such testing. She said the state should wait to lift shutdowns a minimum of 14 days after the pandemic’s peak, which she estimated to be next week. “We cannot waste the sacrifice that has come to this point,” she said.

Amico, an unsuccessful 2018 lieutenant governor candidate and trucking company owner, called shutdown-lifting decisions without thorough testing a “fool’s errand, and all it will do is reignite the virus, not reopen our economy.”

Ossoff, the CEO of an investigative journalism company and unsuccessful 2017 candidate for Congress in the local 6th District, referred to Kemp’s previous role as Georgia secretary of state as a measure of incompetence. Ossoff said it’s “no surprise… he has failed to spin up a robust testing regime here in Georgia, because unfortunately, the man lacks the executive capacity and managerial capabilities necessary to achieve complex things at scale in a timely manner.”

Georgia is going to be a big state this year and luckily we have some great candidates. It will be a tough race to unseat U.S. Senator David Perdue (R. GA) but it can and will be done. Click below to donate and get involved with the Georgia Democrat of your choice:

Jon Ossoff

Teresa Tomlinson

Sarah Riggs Amico