Georgia’s 6th congressional district special election, 2017

Jon Ossoff and his fiance, Alisha Kramer campaigning during the event held at Hugo’s Oyster Bar in Roswell, GA on May 23, 2017. [Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm ƒ/4, ISO 1600, ƒ/5.6, 1/100]

Covering a political campaign

If you are going to take pictures and use them to help inform people about politics then you need to know what is going on in politics. I am biased about politics when I am posting on my own blog. So this is more editorial view than journalistic. Last night I was able to meet Jon Ossoff in person and really this is just me sharing of my photos. However how I approached the shoot was influenced a lot by my views.

I live in Georgia’s 6th congressional district where the biggest race in the history is taking place. Biggest meaning the most money ever spent on a congressional seat in the history of the United States.

The total cost of the race now exceeds $30 million, easily making it the most expensive U.S. House contest on record. The previous record, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, was a 2012 Florida contest that cost nearly $29.6 million.

A special election will be held on June 20, 2017, to determine the member of the United States House of Representatives for Georgia’s 6th congressional district. Republican Incumbent Tom Price resigned from the seat following his appointment and confirmation as the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Trump Administration. A primary election occurred on April 18, 2017.

Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel are running for the office.

The Atlanta Journal and Constitution just reported:

More than 5,500 voters have so far been added to the rolls in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District after a federal judge ordered local counties to reopen registration through this past Sunday.

The total includes two types of voter: the newly registered, plus so-called “transfer” applications — already registered Georgia voters who moved into the district after March 20, when the registration period originally closed.

Jon Ossoff campaigning during the event held at Hugo’s Oyster Bar in Roswell, GA on May 23, 2017. [Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm ƒ/4, ISO 28800, ƒ/4, 1/100]
A new poll shows Democrat Jon Ossoff with a 7-point lead against Republican Karen Handel ahead of the runoff election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.

Of the 700 voters interviewed in the SurveyUSA poll conducted for Atlanta TV station WXIA, Ossoff leads with 51 percent compared to Handel’s 44 percent. Six percent of respondents were undecided and the margin of error was 4.3 percent.

Newt Gingrich was the turning point for this seat from Democrat to Republican back in 1978. He held that seat until 1998. He was followed by Johnny Isakson and then Tom Price.

Jon Ossoff and his finace, Alisha Kramer campaigning during the event held at Hugo’s Oyster Bar in Roswell, GA on May 23, 2017. [Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm ƒ/4, ISO 2500, ƒ/5.6, 1/100]
The election to replace Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price could be Democrats’ best opportunity until the 2018 elections to demonstrate that their base’s anti-Trump movement can be weaponized to kick Republicans out of office — maybe even to take back the House of Representatives for the first time since 2010.

The election’s frontrunner, Democrat Jon Ossoff, has capitalized on the anti-Trump sentiment. “Donald Trump is an embarrassment and a threat to prosperity and health, justice, and security in the Sixth District,” Ossoff has said. “I’m running to stop him and to fight for our community in Congress.”

Jon Ossoff is swarmed by his fans while campaigning during the event held at Hugo’s Oyster Bar in Roswell, GA on May 23, 2017. [Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm ƒ/4, ISO 4500, ƒ/8, 1/100]
I believe the key to understanding why political unknown Jon Ossoff has risen to the top is the problems with Republicans. The race has exposed stark divides between the Republicans over health care, tax overhauls and foreign policy.

I believe the influence of fundamentalist Christians in the Republican party is what hurt the party. In response some Christians started to oppose their views.

The Chicago Declaration of Evangelical Social Concern, began with a confession that evangelicals had failed to defend the rights of the poor and oppressed and had been complicit in racism. It went on to attack the unjust distribution of the nation’s wealth, the “pathology of war and violence,” sexism, and the “the temptation to make the nation and its institutions objects of near-religious loyalty.”

FitzGerald, Frances (2017-04-04). The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America (Kindle Locations 4432-4435). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.

Jon Ossoff is swarmed by his fans while campaigning during the event held at Hugo’s Oyster Bar in Roswell, GA on May 23, 2017. [Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm ƒ/4, ISO 2200, ƒ/4, 1/100]
I am seeing the largest growth in America as what is called “Nones”. Here from Wikipedia:

Americans without a religious affiliation represent about 20% or more of the population and since the early 1990s, independent polls have shown their rapid growth. They include agnostics, atheists, deists,[e] secular humanists, and general secularists.

Unaffiliated Americans are sometimes referred to as “Nones”. Though having no religion and not seeking religion they have diverse views: 68% believe in God, 12% are atheists, 17% are agnostics; in terms of self-identification of religiosity 18% consider themselves religious, 37% consider themselves as spiritual but not religious, and 42% considers themselves as neither spiritual nor religious; and 21% pray every day and 20% pray once a month. According to the 2008 ARIS, the Nones have diverse beliefs: 7% were atheist, 35% were agnostics, 24% were deists, and 27% were theists.

Jon Ossoff is swarmed by his fans while campaigning during the event held at Hugo’s Oyster Bar in Roswell, GA on May 23, 2017. [Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm ƒ/4, ISO 1400, ƒ/4, 1/100]
This shift and the Republican Party that catered so much to the “Moral Majority” has found their base has left them.

Top voting issues in 2016 election

I believe the shift isn’t away from faith but actually a shift to what I believe Jesus taught his disciples.

John 13:34-35

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

I believe that the Christian right has been wrong for a long time. They are out condemning people as the Pharisees were doing in the time of Jesus.

Mark 2:14-16

14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.

15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

People today are concerned about how to live within community. They need jobs and they need the burdens of medical care and taxes controlled. They are concerned about not being persecuted. They really want leaders who will help level the playing field that we are all treated equal in the eyes of the law.

Chelle Leary, Jon Ossoff and his fiance, Alisha Kramer and Wendy Hoback campaigning during the event held at Hugo’s Oyster Bar in Roswell, GA on May 23, 2017. [Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm ƒ/4, ISO 2200, ƒ/8, 1/100]