Handel, Ossoff meet in District 6 congressional debate

Nationally, Georgia's closely watched special election for a seat in Congress - already the most expensive House race in history - is all about President Donald Trump.

At Tuesday night's debate between Jon Ossoff and Karen Handel in the race for Georgia's 6th Congressional District, Ossoff said that "the minimum wage should be a living wage".

Under that national spotlight, Democrat Jon Ossoff and, albiet to a lesser extent, Republican Karen Handel have avoided talking Trump during the campaign.

"We need an independent voice in Washington, not someone like Secretary Handel", Ossoff said.

Mr. Ossoff, a former congressional aide and documentary filmmaker, countered that Ms. Handel, a former secretary of state, is a partisan who will serve as a "rubber stamp" for special interest groups in Washington.

Ossoff didn't answer directly at all until a moderator followed up, asking for a yes or no. But the candidates themselves don't spend much time praising or attacking the President, and they have been silent on most of the Trump news items du jour.

Ossoff criticized former President Barack Obama for failing to enforce the "red line" of using chemical weapons in Syria.

Handel needled Trump's budget proposal for cutting funding for science and cancer research. That, she said, results in higher wages.

Handel mentioned the California Democrat about a dozen times in less than an hour as she and Ossoff met two weeks ahead of the June 20 special election in metro Atlanta's typically conservative northern suburbs.

Of Handel, he said she "was more aggressive and remained on offense for a good portion of the debate, which could indicate she thinks she is slightly behind in the race and needs to make up some ground in this debate".

"To think that a handpicked candidate from Nancy Pelosi is going to do anything other than go along to get along with the liberal left, that's laughable", Ms. Handel said, adding that a majority of his donors have come from California, Massachusetts and NY.

"I do not support a livable wage", she said on Atlanta's WSB-TV in response to a question about raising the minimum wage. "You might live just outside of the district, but your values are 3,000 miles away in San Francisco". Handel insisted the Republican health care bill does no such thing.

"You might live just five minutes outside the district, but your values are almost 3,000 miles away in San Francisco", she said. "She was born without an esophagus.more protections for those with pre-existing conditions". She's received support from national GOP groups, including the National Republican Congressional Committee, which is spending some $4 million on ads like this one that attempts to tie Ossoff to terrorism.

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