Even campaigning looks a little different in 2020, as Jon Ossoff’s campaign displayed in Forsyth County on Tuesday morning.
Ossoff, who will face incumbent Sen. David Perdue in the Jan. 5 runoff, held a yard sign pick-up event Tuesday, Dec. 1 at Caney Creek Preserve on Caney Road, where supporters were able to pull up in their vehicles, grab a campaign sign and talk with the candidate for a few minutes.
“We just want to energize the community, be visible and present,” Ossoff said on Tuesday morning. “I want voters in Forsyth County to know that I am asking humbly for their support, that we are in the midst of a health crisis and an economic crisis and to come together to confront it, and I’m here to earn the votes in Forsyth County.”
Ossoff, a Democrat, earned about 2.37 million votes, about 48% of the total, in the Nov. 3 general election to Perdue’s, a Republican, 2.46 million votes, more than 49.7% of the total and Libertarian Shane Hazel’s 115,039 votes, about 2.3% of the total.
Story continues below
Since no candidate reached 50% of votes plus one vote, the election is headed to a runoff.
The races for Georgia’s other U.S. Senate seat, between Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler and Democratic Challenger Raphael Warnock, and Public Service Commissioner District 4, between Republican incumbent Lauren “Bubba” McDonald and Democrat Daniel Blackman, will also be decided in the Jan. 5 runoff.
In Forsyth County, Perdue was more heavily favored, earning nearly 85,652 votes, or 66.8% of the total, to Ossoff’s 39,229 votes, or 30.6%.
At the event, Ossoff said he felt having a good “ground game” and meeting with voters was a big key for the election and passing legislation wanted by Democratic voters.
“[The key] is making sure that young people understand the stakes that getting out of this crisis and passing civil rights and voting rights legislation, criminal justice reform, establishing health care as a human right for the American people, all of that is on the line in these elections,” he said. “We’re going to do everything we can to build enthusiasm and turn out results.”
Despite Tuesday’s chilly weather, officials with the Forsyth County Democrats said they were impressed with the turnout and thought it was a unique way for voters to meet Ossoff while maintaining social distancing.
“We’re constantly looking to have events for candidates in the runoff, so we were trying to coordinate different events and this was one of the preferred types of events the Ossoff campaign likes doing,” said Eric Cohen, group’s second vice chair “As you might have seen, there’s been a huge appetite for yard signs for the county, so it’s a perfect match. They get to see him and get a yard sign.”
Melissa Clink, chairwoman of the Forsyth County Democratic Party, said the cold weather might have made a few supporters skip the event, but the response had been largely positive.
“I think people are really excited,” Clink said. “We got a lot of positive feedback on social media for it, so it was great. I think the weather might have kept some people away, but it looks like people are still turning out in their cars. We’re always excited that Jon’s here. Jon was here right before COVID, a couple of months before, and that was his last meeting with us.”