Meet Ron Slotin, the Other Democrat in the Sixth District contest

Ron Slotin called on Tuesday. You’ll have to forgive him if he sounds a little baffled. Slotin is the Other Democrat in the Sixth District congressional race.

Actually, there are five Democrats. But Slotin, 54, the COO of an executive search firm and a former state senator, is the experienced one that national organizations are passing over in order to back 30-year-old Jon Ossoff.

Given that the 18-candidate, special election to replace U.S. Rep. Tom Price is one of the first national contests since President Donald Trump’s inauguration, the Sixth District contest has extra significance – enough to merit a Democratic gamble in an undoubtedly Republican district.

Ossoff even has his picture in today’s New York Times, and is quoted thusly:

“I’m not campaigning across the district talking about Donald Trump at every event,” he said. “There are many in this district who are concerned that the president may embarrass us on the world stage, that he may be incompetent and that he’s dishonest. I share those concerns, but by running a positive campaign focused on core American values, the contrast is obvious.”

A poll we mentioned Tuesday put Trump’s approval rating at 51 percent. Ossoff rated 18 percent on a ballot test, essentially even with Republican Karen Handel.

Slotin rated 2.82 percent, less than the +/-4.5 percent margin of error.  “I’m in sixth place right now. That’s the way I look at it,” he said.

Slotin served in the state Senate from 1992 to 1996, when he challenged incumbent U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney in a Democratic primary. (Another candidate in that race was Comer Yates, husband of the now-famous former acting U.S. attorney general.)

But Slotin is counting on his more current family, business and community connections to help him into a runoff berth. “I’ve lived, worked, owned a business, raised a family, and volunteered in the district for over 15 years,” he said.

He’s picked up endorsements from two city council members — Lynn Deutsch of Dunwoody and Leslie Robson of Chamblee.

Since his failed congressional bid in ’96, Slotin has spent time in Brazil running a business there. He’s been publisher of Atlanta Jewish Life, a magazine, and has had a cable TV show aimed at a Jewish audience. For a time he had his own advertising agency.

Slotin said he helped start the Sandy Springs Chamber of Commerce, was involved in Gov. Nathan Deal’s push to establish tax credits for TV and movie production in Georgia. “I have the best record for economic development and creating jobs,” he said.

But more than anything, Slotin sees himself as the candidate who will help push mass transit into north Fulton County, working with local advocates like Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul and state Sen. Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta.

“I’m going to work with local Republican officials on these kinds of projects. How long are people going to sit in traffic on Ga. 400?” he asked.

Slotin, Ossoff, and three other Democrats — Regin Edwards, Richard Keatley, Rebecca Quigg – are expected at a 1 p.m. Sunday forum at Andretti Indoor Karting & Games, 11000 Alpharetta Highway, in Roswell.

The event is sponsored by Needles in a Haystack, a group of Democrats and progressive citizens headquartered in north Fulton.

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Former Secretary of State Karen Handel has picked up the endorsement of the Susan B. Anthony List, a conservative national group that opposes abortion rights.

In a press release, SBA List president Marjorie Dannenfelser called Handel a “fearless champion of unborn children and their mothers” and praised her high-profile decision to leave the  Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation in 2012 after it reversed its decision to cut ties with Planned Parenthood.

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Gov. Nathan Deal isn’t wading into the new battle over the House GOP’s plan to replace the Affordable Care Act with a conservative alternative. “The governor is reviewing the proposal and engaging with federal and state officials to assess its impact on Georgia,” said his spokewsoman, Jen Talaber Ryan. Read more about the plan’s potential impact in Georgia here.

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So far, the morning hasn’t brought any Tweets of import from President Donald Trump. But some are pointing to the headline below, which appears on Breitbart.com — and throws cold water on Trump’s endorsement of the House Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act:

“Obamacare 2.0 Guts Enforcement, Gives Illegal Aliens Health Care Through Identity Fraud”

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If you’re wondering why President Donald Trump’s antics have prompted a revolt from Republicans in Congress, the Washington Post provides a clue:

The National Republican Congressional Committee said Wednesday that it raised a record $10.5 million in February — the first full month of solid GOP control in Washington, with Republicans running the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives. That is more than double the $5 million that the NRCC, the committee charged with electing Republicans to the House, raised in the last February of a non-election year.

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Coming off a telephone town hall last week that was remarkably polite, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson has scheduled another one.

We’re told it’ll be on Thursday at 5:55 p.m. Sign up to stream the tele-town hall here: https://vekeo.com/senatorisakson/

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