Jon Ossoff, the former congressional candidate who rose to prominence during a high-profile special election in Georgia in 2017, announced Tuesday that he will seek to challenge Senator David Perdue (R., Ga.) in 2020.
Ossoff captured national attention despite narrowly losing the special election in Georgia’s sixth congressional district since he managed galvanized grassroots support just months after President Trump’s victory. Now, the 32-year-old filmmaker believes he can recapture that energy to best Perdue, who he called a “caricature of Washington corruption” while announcing his campaign.
“What I care about is trying to make a difference in people’s lives,” Ossoff told the Atlanta Journal Constitution . “Trying to end this appalling corruption that has infected our political system and fighting the abuse of power . . . We need warriors for the people in the United States Senate.”
As the fourth Democrat to enter the race, the inexperienced Ossoff will be forced to contend with a crowded primary field. But, unlike his primary opponents, he enters with powerful momentum garnered from Representative John Lewis’s (D., Ga.) endorsement.
“Like the many thousands Jon has already organized and inspired, I am ready to work tirelessly to elect him,” Lewis said in a statement. “Georgia and America need Jon.”
Perdue’s counterpart, Senator Johnny Isakson (R., Ga.), announced his resignation earlier this month.
Georgia governor Brian Kemp will appoint a successor who will be forced to defend the seat in a special election almost immediately. But Ossoff is foregoing the special election against a possibly untested opponent in favor of challenging Perdue, who he believes is uniquely ill-suited to the job and uniquely vulnerable.
“David Perdue in half a decade has not come down from his private island to hold a single public town hall,” Ossoff told Politico. “We are going to raise a grassroots army unlike anything Georgia has seen to defeat him.”