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Election 2020 Preview: Senate
Senate- Perdue and Ossoff.jpg
Republican Sen. David Perdue and Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff will face off on Nov. 3 in a race for the seat Perdue has held since 2015

David Perdue (Incumbent) 

Party: Republican

Age: 70

Occupation: Businessman, including serving as CEO of Reebok and Dollar General

For voters who may not know, can you give a rundown of what have you have accomplished in your previous terms in office? 

“As an outsider from the business world, I never dreamed of running for office. But I saw what was happening to America’s economy and how the world was becoming more dangerous. I ran for Senate on the promise that we would change the direction of our country for the better. I’m proud to say that after six years, we’ve kept that promise. 

“We’ve cut taxes for everybody, slashed regulations, gained energy independence and repealed the worst parts of Dodd-Frank. As a result, we experienced the greatest economic turnaround in U.S. history. Before COVID-19, we had 50-year lows in unemployment, the lowest minority unemployment in history, and over 6 million Americans pulled themselves out of poverty. 

“While COVID-19 has been an unprecedented crisis, I’m confident that if we stay true to our principles of limited government, individual liberty, and economic opportunity for everybody, we will rebuild America even stronger than before. 

“I’m also proud of the work we’ve done to rebuild our military after years of neglect under the previous Democrat administrations. We’ve secured new investments in our military bases here in Georgia and secured the largest military pay raise in a decade, while solving long-ignored issues for our veterans at the VA.  

“Jon Ossoff has supported policies that would gut our military and cost up to 26,000 military jobs, raise taxes, and defund the police. Given his complete lack of real-world experience, it’s no surprise he’s pushing such a radical, socialist agenda.” 

If elected, what are your biggest legislative priorities for your term? 

“The number one issue we need to address right now is defeating COVID-19 and making sure we have a vaccine that will keep people safe, while also reigniting our economy. We came together at the outset of this unprecedented crisis and passed the CARES Act, a massive bipartisan effort to provide funding for frontline healthcare workers, research for life-saving treatments and vaccines, and economic support through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Together, we’ve been able to fight this virus and protect our economy.” 

“So far, the PPP has saved over 1.5 million jobs in Georgia through loans to small businesses averaging just ten employees.” 

Right now, Democrats are holding up negotiations to provide more relief, including additional funds for PPP and protective equipment for schools, and my opponent Jon Ossoff is cheering on their obstructionism. He opposed the PPP even though his own father used it to save his company. It’s absolutely essential that we continue to help Georgians get through this historic challenge. 

“We also need to address public safety. This summer we watched violent extremists hijack peaceful protests in some of America’s largest cities, including Atlanta. While my opponent has ignored this violence and even supported the radical defund the police movement, which would make our communities less safe, I’m committed to real police reform that improves training for law enforcement and provides funds needed to realize this goal. That’s why I co-sponsored Tim Scott’s JUSTICE Act, a serious proposal that would bring about real police reform.” 

What else do you think voters should know about you and your campaign? 

“As someone who spent four decades working in the business world and running American companies like Dollar General and Reebok, I’m focused on getting results for the people of Georgia as their Senator, not idle rhetoric. I’m still the same outsider in the belly of the beast that I was when I ran in 2014 and I’m proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish to make a difference for the people of Georgia, but we’ve got a lot more left to do. 

“This election will decide the future direction of our country for generations. We can either put our faith in the free-market principles that have made America the greatest nation in the history of the world, or embrace Jon Ossoff’s radical, socialist agenda, which has failed everywhere around the world where it’s been tried. 

“I’m committed to keeping the American dream alive for our children and grandchildren by keeping taxes low, expanding economic opportunity for everybody, and ensuring everyone has access to healthcare, especially those with pre-existing conditions. My opponent wants to raise taxes, kill jobs, defund the police, cut our military, and have the government take over our healthcare system by imposing socialized medicine that eliminates private health insurance and leads to fewer doctors, higher costs, and hospital closures. 

“This year, I’m asking Georgians to stand with me so we can continue changing the direction of our country for the better, while ensuring the road to socialism never runs through the state of Georgia.” 

Jon Ossoff

Party: Democratic

Age: 33

Occupation: Media executive, investigative journalist and CEO media production company of Insight TWI

Can you tell voters what made you want to run for this seat?

“I’m running to ensure every Georgian has great health care, to deliver historic investments in clean energy and infrastructure, to rebuild this economy so working families and small businesses thrive, and to root out corruption so government serves the people — not private interests with legions of lobbyists.

“Fighting corruption is my job. I run a business that exposes war crimes, organized crime, and political corruption.  

“The corruption of our political system is why the costs of health insurance and prescription drugs are through the roof, and why the government serves corporate lobbyists instead of ordinary people.  

“We desperately need stable, unifying leadership to beat this virus and bring Americans together to rebuild our economy. Our government failed catastrophically to respond to this public health emergency. My opponent, Senator Perdue, downplayed the threat in public and undermined the expert advice of doctors and scientists.

“Senator Perdue said the virus posed a ‘low’ risk to our health and would have ‘little’ impact on our economy. Now more than 200,000 Americans have died and millions have lost their jobs. We desperately need new leadership.”

If elected, what are your biggest legislative priorities for your term?

“Health care and health insurance should be affordable and accessible to every Georgia family. We shouldn’t have to worry a bad diagnosis could cause financial hardship. No family should struggle to afford medicine. We have to end price gouging by insurance and drug companies, protect insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, and invest in new health clinics so everyone has convenient access to care.

“We will also need to pass a historic infrastructure and clean energy program to get Americans back to work, boost demand for American businesses, and upgrade our quality of life."

What else do you think voters should know about you and your campaign?

“I run a business that exposes war crimes, organized crime, and political corruption. My wife Alisha is an OB-GYN doctor here in Atlanta.

“In the midst of this pandemic, we need to listen to medical experts to control this virus, and we need leaders who are honest with us about threats to our health. While he was receiving private briefings on the dangers of COVID-19, Senator Perdue misled us & downplayed the threat, contradicting doctors and scientists.

“He told us this virus posed a ‘low’ risk to our health & told us the impact on economic growth would be ‘little.’ Now 200,000 Americans are dead & millions lost their jobs.

“Second, the outrageous cost of health insurance & medicine is a scandal. I’ll work to make quality health care a simple, affordable, & reassuring reality for all of us by cracking down on price gouging by drug and insurance companies, supporting Medicaid expansion, expanding the U.S. Public Health Service to hire more nurses and doctors, and investing in rural hospitals and health clinics.  

“And, third, I’ll support policies to grow our economy and create jobs by expanding opportunities for working families & small businesses. Rather than relying on subsidies for investment banks as economic stimulus & hoping benefits trickle down, I’ll support lower taxes for all but the wealthiest Americans, debt-free public college, and free vocational training. And to create millions of jobs and jumpstart our economy, I’ll support a historic infrastructure program to lay the foundation for decades of prosperity, sustainability, and health.”