The Candidates

Jon Ossoff

Official Campaign Bio: “Jon Ossoff is a Georgia native, media executive, investigative journalist, and small business owner. Jon and his wife Alisha, an OB/GYN physician, both grew up in Atlanta. Since 2013, Jon has served as the CEO of Insight TWI, a now 30-year old media production company that investigates corruption, organized crime, and war crimes for international news organizations.”

Ossoff rose to prominence in 2017 when he ran for congress in Georgia’s 6th District in a special election, a position that opened because Trump had appointed Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Ossoff was endorsed by notable figures in the party such as Stacey Abrams and civil rights legend John Lewis, with whom he had interned in high school. The 6th District seat had long been reliably Republican and wasn’t expected to be competitive, but Ossoff barely lost, with 48.22% of the vote, to his Republican opponent’s 51.78%. There was a huge democratic turnout, including young and irregular voters.

Ossoff’s platform in his current campaign from the campaign website: “I am fighting for great health care for every American with a strong Public Option and strengthened Affordable Care Act, to defend Medicare and Social Security, for historic investment in clean energy and infrastructure, to lower taxes for working families and small businesses, to defend Roe v. Wade and the privacy of women’s health care, to enact major criminal justice reform, to get dark money out of politics and end Citizens United.

Raphael Warnock

Official Campaign bio: “Reverend Raphael Warnock grew up in Kayton Homes public housing in Savannah. The family was short on money, but long on faith, love and humor. Raphael and his eleven brothers and sisters were taught the meaning of hard work.

Reverend Warnock’s father was a veteran, a small businessman, and a preacher. He spent the week hauling old cars to the local steel yard, and on Sundays he preached at a local church. Reverend Warnock’s mother grew up in Waycross, where she spent summers picking tobacco and cotton, and still lives in Savannah today. She worked hard to raise Raphael and his siblings to know that they could do anything they put their mind to.

When he enrolled at Morehouse College, Reverend Warnock didn’t know how he would pay the full tuition. With the help of low-interest student loans and Pell Grants Raphael graduated, earned a Ph.D., and was ordained in the ministry. Fifteen years ago, he was chosen to serve as Senior Pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, the former pulpit of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was the youngest pastor selected to serve in that leadership role at the historic church.

Reverend Warnock believes his impact does not stop at the church door, and has been an advocate to expand health care coverage and to ensure hardworking Georgians can make a living wage.

As Senator, Reverend Warnock will bring to Washington the concerns of struggling Georgia families who wonder why no one is looking out for them. He will focus on fighting for quality, affordable health care, for the dignity of working people who are paid too little as our government works more for Wall Street, and to make sure every voice is heard.“

Warnock’s campaign platform emphasizes healthcare (particularly rural access to hospitals), renewing the Voting Rights Act, and a living wage. One of his slogans is “Your Vote is Sacred,” a nod both to his position as a pastor and his passion for securing voting rights. Dogs and puppies have featured prominently in his ads, and there is a Facebook group called Puppies for Warnock.

Kelly Loeffler

A native of Illinois, Loeffler got an MBA at DePaul and went into a career in finance. In her campaign she has played up her roots growing up on a grain farm. She worked for Intercontinental Exchange, a company that now owns the New York Stock Exchange,  and in 2004 she married its CEO Jeffrey Specher. At Intercontinental Exchange, she was responsible for creating an offshore tax haven where banks could continue trading in the derivatives that had caused the Great Recession.

With a net worth of over $500 million she is the richest member of the Senate, and she and her husband gave millions of dollars in donations to Republican committees prior to her appointment to the Senate by Governor Brian Kemp in December 2019. She was attacked in the primary by Republican Doug Collins as an out of touch millionaire. 

Both Loeffler and Perdue were investigated for insider trading. After a private coronavirus briefing Loeffler sold over a million dollars  in investments in companies doing things like online travel booking  and bought in companies such as personal protective equipment and software for working from home. She and Perdue were cleared of wrongdoing by the Republican-led Senate Ethics Committee. 

“People are losing their jobs, their businesses, their retirements, and even their lives and Kelly Loeffler is profiting off their pain? I’m sickened just thinking about it.”
Doug Collins, Republican Congressman, GA-9

Loeffler co-owns the Atlanta Dream WNBA team, which was vocal in its support of Warnock. Loeffler’s explicit stance against Black Lives Matter triggered the team’s rejection of her. 

“I adamantly disapprove of the Black Lives Matter political movement” 

Kelly Loeffler

Loeffler wrote a letter of objection to the WNBA over plans to honor Breonna Taylor with warmup jerseys that said “Black Lives Matter” and “Say her name” and suggested American flag apparel instead. This was met with major backlash from players and fans, and members of her team and others responded by wearing “Vote Warnock” t-shirts. 

Loeffler has touted her 100% Trump voting record and called herself the Senate’s most conservative member. She is against abortion access, gun safety measures, and immigration, and has praised Trump’s handling of the pandemic. 

Loeffler has largely campaigned on culture wars issues and smearing Warnock, attempting to tie him to Fidel Castro, because Castro was invited to a church where Warnock was a youth pastor, connecting him to Obama’s controversial former pastor Jeremiah Wright, claiming Warnock is anti-Israel, a claim refuted by Jewish leaders, and attempting to tie him to socialism and the movement to defund the police.  She is the only candidate who has a section on their website devoted to their opponent: Radical Raphael: The most Dangerous Candidate in America. In anticipation of her attack ads, Warnock launched his first puppy ad and this brilliant follow-up.

David Perdue

David Perdue is running for a second term as senator. A former businessman who worked for companies such as Reebok and Dollar General, he is the first cousin of Sonny Perdue, Trump’s Secretary of Agriculture and a former Governor of Georgia (no relation to the chicken company). With a net worth of between $15 and $42 million, David Perdue is one of the wealthiest U.S. Senators. to The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Perdue’s business record is mixed. He served as CEO of the company Pillowtex for 9 months, and soon after he left with $1.7 million in compensation, the company closed, causing the largest single day job loss in North Carolina history. He has said he was “proud” that he spent “most of [his] career outsourcing” something he did at PillowTex, Dollar General, and shoe and apparel manufacturers. When he was the CEO of Dollar General, he arranged for the sale of the company, and while he personally made $42 million, the company had to pay out millions to settle a lawsuit with shareholders.  

Like Loeffler, Perdue was investigated this year for insider trading, when after a private coronavirus briefing he sold casino shares and invested in Pfizer and Dupont, which makes PPE. He claimed that independent financial managers were responsible for the trades, although the New York Times reported that “his instructions to Goldman Sachs to sell Cardlytics suggest that he directed at least some trades.” He had given the same explanation in 2017, when, as a member of the Senate Banking Committee, he watered down Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regulations on the prepaid debit card business, and then had suspiciously timed and lucrative transactions in his investments in First Data, a company that was a major player in that industry. (The regulations that he had hoped to remove were to require transparency on fees and protect consumers from theft and fraud.) He and Loeffler were both cleared by the Republican-led Senate Ethics Committee. Another possible abuse of his position occurred when Perdue was on the Armed Services Subcommittee on Sea Power and invested in parts for nuclear submarines, then secured nearly $5 billion federal dollars to build submarines with the parts made by the company he had invested in. Instead of placing his assets in a blind trust or investing in diversified funds as other senators have done to avoid ethics conflicts, Perdue is by far the most active trader in the senate, with more trades than the next five senators combined. 

"Outside of eliminating the EPA altogether, Scott Pruitt is the next best thing."
David Perdue

Like Trump, Perdue brands himself as an “outsider.” While many of his actions have been very far to the right, his platform on his website is boilerplate conservative. Like Loeffler he is running a culture wars campaign, for example falsely claiming that Ossoff was “endorsed” by the Communist Party based on a political article about the campaign posted to Facebook by a communist group, and mocking him for his visit to a black-owned vegan burger joint on Small Business Saturday, contrasting it with his own picture eating at the chain Waffle House and calling on Georgians to “Pick your side.”