ATLANTA, Ga. (PM) — Former congressional candidate Jon Ossoff declared Monday night that he’s challenging Republican Sen. David Perdue in 2020 for a Georgia seat that could help decide control of the Senate. Ossoff, the fourth Democrat to join the race, announced his bid during a scheduled 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.
Ossoff states he’ll work to develop 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. At the time, the race had been the most expensive U.S. House race in history. Handel was subsequently defeated by Democrat Lucy McBath in the 2018 midterm congressional election.
Perdue’s isn’t the only Georgia Senate seat that Ossoff could have run for. A special election to fulfill 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 established Georgia’s status as a must-watch 2020 battleground.
While Ossoff will face a primary contest in the race for Perdue’s seat, 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 runoff.
Ossoff, a 32-year-old investigative filmmaker, 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.