Chairman Shepherd’s Letter to the Editor Regarding March 24 School Walk-outs

[LETTERS] Chairman Jason Shepherd has submitted the following Letter to the Editor of the Marietta Daily Journal:

Dear Editor:

Regarding your Feb 28 article, “Cobb schools to curb student protests”, I was surprised to see the Superintendent of Marietta City Schools, Dr. Grant Rivera, give a hall pass to the students who plan a walk-out and protest against the 2nd Amendment on March 14. As he has set a precedent, I assume that he also plans to give the same right to students who want to stage a walk-out in support of the 2nd Amendment. Or next month, maybe a walk-out in remembrance of the millions of unborn children who have died in our nation’s abortion facilities. I suppose then the pro-abortion students will get their chance. As enterprising as high school students are, I’m sure they can find a way to have a walk-out nearly daily. After all, now that Dr. Rivera has set the precedent and opened the door to school-system sanctioned protest on controversial issues, how can he deny any group the same right without running the risk of Marietta City Schools ending up in court on Section 1983 violations of the Civil Rights Act for denying Equal Protection and the students’ right to freedom of speech?

Jason Shepherd
Chairman, Cobb County Republican Party
Licensed attorney

Protecting the Four Freedoms with the Fifth

by CHAIRMAN JASON SHEPHERD
75 years ago last Tuesday, on February 20, 1943, during the height of World War II, Norman Rockwell’s first of his four painting representing the Four Freedoms debuted on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. That first painting, “Freedom of Speech” is one of the most iconic images of the first of our First Amendment rights. It, along with the freedoms of religion, press, assembly, and petitioning of the government make up the cornerstone of the rights on which America is built. And to protect those freedoms, which are not given by man, but by the Creator, James Madison, author of the Bill of Rights, pinned the the fifth freedom, the 2nd Amendment:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
 
Since the most recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida, the left has relentlessly attacked the National Rifle Association and its members. Never mind the NRA nor its members, of which I am one, had anything to do with the attack. But rather than attack the incompetence of the Democratic Sheriff and his deputies who waited patiently outside while kids were being shot, or local and federal law enforcement which received, by some counts, nearly two dozen credible warnings about the shooter that were simply ignored, or their backers in Hollywood that put on regular television violence so graphic that a generation ago would require an “R” rating in theaters, the left has focused the blame squarely on the NRA. 
 
The NRA doesn’t control the Republican Party. The reason it has so much influence is based on the fact that so many of its members tend to also vote Republican. As any large membership organization (more than 100,000 in Georgia alone) Republican leaders listen to the NRA because, not only do many of them align with the freedoms championed by the NRA, but many of their voters are members as well. While to some the NRA’s opposition to any weapons ban might seem unreasonable, the leadership knows whenever a little freedom is surrendered, those to whom it is surrendered to are rarely satisfied, and most of the left won’t be satisfied until law-abiding Americans are left with little more than spit balls and water pistols to defend themselves. 
 
On Thursday, Delta Airlines joined the fray by sending out a press release severing ties with the NRA (really, severing ties with its individual members who would have taken advantage of the NRA group discount). Delta’s stated reason was “to remain neutral.”
 
Delta’s decision reflects the airline’s neutral status in the current national debate over gun control amid recent school shootings. Out of respect for our customers and employees on both sides, Delta has taken this action to refrain from entering this debate and focus on its business.
Despite Delta’s statement that this was a move towards neutrality, given the timing and the overtly public way it chose to make its announcement, it seems to be anything but neutral, especially when Delta still freely associates with a number of left-winged organizations actively engaged in controversial national debates. In fact, Delta goes on to justify its action by giving another example of where it ended support for an organization:
Last year, Delta withdrew its sponsorship of a theater that staged a graphic interpretation of “Julius Caesar” depicting the assassination of President Trump. 
Did Delta Airlines actually compare the NRA and its 5 million patriotic and law-abiding members to a theater that depicted the assassination of the President? How many Delta pilots, many of whom are former military, are members of the NRA? How many Delta employees? How many of them will feel comfortable with senior management finding out they are NRA members now that their employer has compared their membership with a theater troupe that advocates for political assassination?
What’s more, Delta decided to make this announcement while, at the same time, asking for a special tax break from the Georgia General Assembly. I joined the media discussion after what I thought was quiet comment in a Facebook discussion where I simply asked, “If Delta can’t respect the right of the people to keep and bear arms, then why in the heck are the people of this state subsidizing their jet fuel?” landed in Greg Bluestein’s article in the AJC. That was followed by a request to come down to the studios of WXIA and speak on air with a reporter covering the story. And since then, the hate emails have been coming in. 
 
Still, I firmly believe blaming the NRA, the 2nd Amendment, Republican Party, or anyone else who wasn’t in Parkland and couldn’t have stopped the shooting misses the target (pun intended) on why we are having so many mass shootings. Rifles like the AR-15 were banned in 1999 when 13 students were killed and 24 injured at Columbine High School. Other mass killings would occur before the ban ended in 2004. If weapons bans stopped violence, then Chicago and Washington, D.C. would be two of America’s safest cities. 
 
But it’s only left-winged logic that says we need to decriminalize drugs because bans don’t work while advocating for the criminalization of weapons because bans do work. 
 

View Chairman Shepherd’s Interview on WXIA Regarding Delta and the NRA

No discount, no tax break: Former Ga. senator upset over Delta’s NRA decision

A decision by Delta to end discounted rates for the National Rifle Association comes at a critical time when the airline giant is up for a big jet fuel tax break in Georgia. Could it change the minds of legislators?

GRIFFIN, Ga. — Since Thursday, more than a dozen brands have severed ties with the National Rifle Association.

Much of this is in response to the most recent high school mass shooting in Parkland, Florida. Delta Air Lines is one of those companies.

Saturday, the company tweeted they would be “ending their contract for discounted rates” with the NRA. Now some local politicians are pushing to hit the airline back in their pocket.

It’s turned into a battle and the timing could not be worse for Delta when they are close to getting what would be a huge tax break that could save the company millions of dollars.

Within about two hours of Delta reaching out to the NRA, former Georgia Senator Rick Jeffares tweeted “if Delta is so flush that they don’t need NRA members’ hard-earned dollars, they can certainly do without the $40 million tax break they are asking Georgia taxpayers for.”

He’s talking about the proposed jet fuel tax break that would save Delta $40 million if it passes. 11Alive spoke to a representative for Jeffares who sent us a statement on his behalf.

“I have supported this tax break for Delta in the past but not this time,” it read. “If Delta can afford to write off the travel business of all those folks, they clearly don’t need a special tax break from Georgians.”

In Delta’s full statement, the company said they are trying to stay neutral during the national debate over gun control. They want to focus on business, but the company continues to support the second amendment.

Cobb County Republican Party Chairman Jason Shepherd isn’t buying it.

“By making the statement at the time that they did, when there is a controversy, it sends the message that they are taking sides in this debate,” Shepherd said.

Shepherd said he’s not interested in helping Delta as a company anymore. He’s even thinking twice about booking his next flight with the carrier.

“It’s giving a subsidy to a company at the same time that they’re basically saying to the people in the state of Georgia, all those who believe in the second amendment, we really don’t respect that right,” he said.

Shepherd said that if Delta would have privately told the NRA rather than releasing information publicly, the response could have been different.

The proposed tax exemption could be introduced on the Georgia Senate floor in the coming week. It remains to be seen if this push by Republicans to get it thrown out will make an impact.

Georgia Lt. Governor Casey Cagle tweeted Monday morning saying he would kill legislation that benefits Delta unless they change their position on the NRA.

http://www.11alive.com/article/news/politics/no-discount-no-tax-break-former-ga-senator-upset-over-deltas-nra-decision/85-523318264

Delta’s NRA move could put airline tax break in Georgia at risk

Political Insider

An AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns. Because all politics is local.

By Greg Bluestein

Some conservatives say the airline’s decision should ground a lucrative sales tax exemption on jet fuel

21h ago, February 24, 2018
Delta’s decision to sever marketing ties with the National Rifle Association on Saturday sparked outrage from Georgia conservatives who urged state lawmakers to defy the Atlanta-based airline’s push for a multimillion dollar fuel tax break.

Several conservative groups seized on the airline’s decision to end a discount for NRA membersto rally members against the measure. And former state Sen. Rick Jeffares, a candidate for lieutenant governor, urged his Republican colleagues to reject it.

“If Delta is so flush that they don’t need NRA members hard-earned travel dollars,” said Jeffares, “it can certainly do without the $40 million tax break they are asking Georgia taxpayers for.”

The airline’s decision came as several blue-chip companies broke ties with the gun rights group amid debate over firearms restrictions in the wake of the mass shooting at a Florida high school this month.

The NRA called the corporate retreat a “shameful display of political and civic cowardice” and said it wouldn’t distract the group from its mission.

It’s difficult timing for Delta in its home state, where the airline is on a mission to restore a lucrative sales tax exemption on jet fuel that was first adopted in the mid-2000s when the company was in financial distress.

Critics called it a special-interest tax giveaway after the company recovered to post record-breaking profits. It was done away with in 2015 when Delta officials got on the wrong side of lawmakers looking for extra cash for infrastructure improvements.

The tax break came roaring back this year after the airline hired David Werner, Gov. Nathan Deal’s former executive counsel, as its top state lobbyist.

This year, it has been pitched to lawmakers as an “airline tax break” rather than one that would exclusively help Delta. The jet fuel provision would save airlines and cargo firms more than $50 million, but the biggest beneficiary would be Delta.

Advocates say it would help Atlanta compete for flights with other hub airports where jet fuel taxes aren’t charged. And it quickly gained traction in the statehouse.

The governor praised it at a press conference and included the provision in a broader measure to slash the state income tax. That proposal easily passed the House last week and is pending in the Senate.

As word of Delta’s decision reverberated among Georgia Republicans, some conservatives ratcheted up pressure on the Senate to block the proposal.

Jason Shepherd, the Cobb GOP chair, questioned why lawmakers are considering a tax break if “Delta does not respect the right of the people to keep and bear arms.” The Atlanta Tea Party sent members a plea to “stand up for the Second Amendment” and call Deal’s office.

And state Sen. Michael Williams, a Republican candidate for governor who has long opposed the Delta tax break, called it proof that lawmakers “do the bidding of lobbyists.”

“Delta isn’t even worried about insulting a huge portion of voters who belong to the NRA,” said Williams, who on Friday tried to strip the jet fuel provision from the broader tax-cut bill. “They have their backroom deal in place & know the politicians can’t survive without their donations.”

Delta quickly took to the defensive. Werner tweeted that the company’s announcement “was not a political statement” and that the airline “merely confirmed its neutral status on a politically and emotionally charged debate by removing its name from the debate.”

Deal’s administration, meanwhile, signaled it continued to support the airline tax break.

Chris Riley, the governor’s top aide, said he and Deal “are assuming this decision was made by Delta to end their contract with all political groups in order to remain neutral.”

“Otherwise,” he added, “members may not trust our word moving forward!”

https://politics.myajc.com/blog/politics/delta-nra-move-could-put-airline-tax-break-georgia-risk/zO5KoRXb6MdZYWNAZGttRK/

2018 Candidate Qualifying Information

Overview: For those seeking inclusion on the Republican primary ballot for the elections on May 22, 2018, the Cobb County Republican Party is holding Candidate Qualifying for partisan county offices at the headquarters located at 799 Roswell Street, Marietta, Georgia, 30060.
Dates/Hours: The following dates and hours are recognized for qualifying:
+ Monday, March 5 from 9 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
+ Tuesday, March 6 from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
+ Wednesday, March 7 from 9 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
+ Thursday, March 8 from 9 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

+ Friday, March 9 from 9 a.m. – Noon sharp

Partisan County Offices: These partisan county offices must qualify locally:

+ Solicitor General – Qualifying Fee  $5,743.30

+ County Commissioner (Districts 1 & 3) – Qualifying Fee $1,395.93

+ County School Board (Districts 2, 4, & 6) – Qualifying Fee: $570.00
Qualifying Information: Packets will be available for the candidates at the Cobb GOP Headquarters. For the general details, click HERE. The packets may be taken, completed, and returned; or filled in at the Cobb GOP Headquarters during the hours listed above.
 
Additional information for candidate qualifying requirements and documentation are available at the Georgia Secretary of State – Elections Division website HERE.
Qualifying Day: Here is what you’ll need to do the day of qualifying:
+ Present a picture ID
+ Provide proof of Voting Precinct
Deliver a Money Order or Cashier’s Check for the corresponding amount listed above and made out to the “Cobb County Republican Party.” NO PERSONAL CHECKS ACCEPTED.
+ Sign the documentation in front of the notary. A notary will be at the Cobb GOP Headquarters during the hours listed above.
General Primary, Nonpartisan General Election and Special Election Date
+ Election Date: May 22, 2018, with Voter Registration Deadline of April 24, 2018
+ Advanced Voting: April 30 through May 18.
+ Runoff Date: July 24, 2018, with Voter Registration Deadline of April 24, 2018
General Primary Runoff Date for Federal Races
+ Election Date: July 24, 2018, with Voter Registration Deadline of June 25, 2018
Questions: Contact the Cobb GOP office at 770-272-0458.

Republican Candidates Qualify for Senate District 6 Special Election

The following Republicans have qualified for the Nov. 7 special election for State Senate District 6:

CHARLIE FIVEASH
PO BOX 725148
ATLANTA GA 31139
E-mail: charlie@charliefiveash.com
PARTY: REPUBLICAN
INCUMBENT: NO
OCCUPATION: COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE
QUALIFIED DATE: 09/14/2017
WEBSITE: www.charliefiveash.com
KATHY EICHENBLATT
3455 PEACHTREE ROAD NE
SUITE 584
ATLANTA GA 30326
E-mail: kathyingeorgia@gmail.com
PARTY: REPUBLICAN
INCUMBENT: NO
OCCUPATION: COO SMART DOOR & DELIVERY
QUALIFIED DATE: 09/13/2017
LEAH ALDRIDGE
E-mail: leah@leahforgeorgia.com
PARTY: REPUBLICAN
INCUMBENT: NO
OCCUPATION: ATTORNEY
QUALIFIED DATE: 09/13/2017
WEBSITE: www.leahforgeorgia.com
LEO SMITH
3101 COBB PKWY
SUITE 124
ATLANTA GA 30339
E-mail: leo@leojsmith.com
PHONE NUMBER: (678) 215-5283
PARTY: REPUBLICAN
INCUMBENT: NO
OCCUPATION: CONSULTANT/BUSINESSMAN
QUALIFIED DATE: 09/15/2017
WEBSITE: leosmithforsenate.com
MATT BENTLEY
PO BOX 15221
ATLANTA GA 30333
PHONE NUMBER: (770) 422-2300
PARTY: REPUBLICAN
INCUMBENT: NO
OCCUPATION: ATTORNEY
QUALIFIED DATE: 09/13/2017
QEBSITE: www.votemattbentley.com

 

 

Cobb GOP to Serve Community Through ‘Republican Hands’

Marietta, GA (August 4, 2017) –  Saturday at the Cobb County Republican Party Monthly Breakfast, Chairman Jason Shepherd will kick-off a new initiative focused on the needs in our Cobb County community. The program called “Republican Hands” will support the core Republican principle that government should be smaller not larger, and it is up to the individuals to care for individual needs of our neighbors and not the governments. The goal is to foster a new spirit of volunteerism in the Cobb GOP between election cycles while taking care of community needs. The Table On Delk is the first organization to be highlighted by Republican Hands.
 Cobb GOP Chairman, Jason Shepherd states, “If Republicans are going to talk about government doing less, then we need to show that, as individuals, we will step up to do more.”
Cobb County Republican Party and the volunteers with The Table On Delk will partner to focus on the huge issue of human trafficking sexual exploitation in the Cobb community taking place in the Delk Road area.
The Table On Delk provides a safe place for those individuals being exploited to come rest and have a warm meal. The Cobb Republican Party volunteers will have the opportunity to work alongside other community volunteers serving meals and going into the community to invite and encourage these men and women, boys and girls, to come and have meaningful interaction with those concerned about the growing numbers of sexual exploitation in the Metro Atlanta region.
“Many people do not know this is happening right here in our own community, on Delk Road, and I believe the Cobb County Republican Party can help make a difference,” said Shepherd. “We will have a day where we will encourage our members to come out and help, or, if they cannot make it, donate to help support the organization’s efforts.”
Helping transform individuals from the vicious cycle of being sexually exploited is huge, yet the Cobb County Republican Party is not shying away from tackling this issue head on. According to an article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) in January 2017, Georgia voters understood the enormous problem of sexual exploitation in the state and 83% of the voters agreed to a Constitutional Amendment requiring strip clubs and other adult businesses to contribute $5000 annually to a fund for exploited children. The Cobb County Republican party is making this personal by going face-to-face and one-in-one, reaching out, leading the charge to show that change begins at home, at our own front door, by our local Cobb Republican family.
“Each month we will highlight a charity or other community service organization in our Cobb community that can use a few extra helping hands to make an impact in our county,” said Shepherd. “This our way of giving those who may be struggling in Cobb a hand-up.”
For more information on, or to become a volunteer with Republican Hands, visit www.RepublicanHands.org or phone Jason Shepherd at: 770-265-5268. To find out more about The Table On Delk, visit: www.thetableondelk.org

Donna Rowe to Host May 3 Reception for Kay Kirkpatrick

You are cordially invited to a

Meet & Greet

Wine and Cheese Reception

honoring

KAY KIRKPATRICK, M.D.

Republican Candidate – State Senate District 32

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

6:00 – 8:00 p.pm.

at the home of

Donna Rowe

45 Stonington Place

Marietta, GA 30068

RSVP to 678-631-1414

Political parties spend big in Georgia’s special congressional election

By Johnny Kauffman
April 13, 2017 | 12:00 PM

The November election was only five months ago, but already Republicans and Democrats are raising and spending big bucks in special congressional elections, like those in Kansas and Georgia this month.

The outside money is really pouring into Georgia, where a special election is set for Tuesday in the Atlanta suburbs.

Both Republicans and Democrats are testing the limits of how far outside money can take them in the race to replace Tom Price, the new secretary of Health and Human Services. Republicans have controlled Georgia’s Sixth District for decades, but Democrats think they can win it.

There are 11 Republican candidates in the race and five Democrats. If one gets more than 50 percent of the vote, they’ll win outright. Otherwise, there will be a runoff in the summer between the top two contenders.

The leading Democrat in the race is Jon Ossoff, a 30-year-old former congressional staffer who’s become a national hero for many opposed to Trump.

Like a lot of Democratic voters, David Levinson had a tough morning after the presidential election.

“I actually cried. I’ve never cried at the loss of an election,” Levinson said.

Levinson lives in Brooklyn, New York, but he read about Ossoff on Facebook. He’s donated about $60 to Ossoff’s campaign so far and plans to keep giving right up to the election.

If Ossoff wins, it will send a message to Republicans and Trump that Democrats are going to fight, Levinson said.

“They need a good trouncing. They need to be put back in their place. The cork needs to go back into the bottle,” he said.

According to the latest federal filings, Ossoff has raised more than $8 million, one of the biggest hauls for any House candidate in U.S. history, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks political donations.

Much of Ossoff’s funds have come from out-of-state donors like Levinson.

That bothers Republicans in the 6th District like Steve Covert, a retired businessman.

Steve Covert, a longtime Republican, says all the outside money going to Democrat Jon Ossoff’s campaign will inspire his neighbors to vote.

“You know being supported by the money from California and New York and God knows where else. He’s not just a Democratic, I think he’s pretty extremely on the left, and you know, that offends a lot of our sensibilities around here, too,” Covert said.

Republicans have had Georgia’s 6th District seat since the 1980s, but last year Trump barely won it. Democrats see that as an opening. Covert said the outside money coming in is inspiring him and his Republican neighbors.

“We’re motivated. Hopefully we can motivate some that aren’t quite so motivated between now and next Tuesday,” he said.

National GOP groups have sent in at least $4 million of their own to oppose Ossoff.

Ironically, they’re using that outside money to highlight all the out-of-state donors supporting Ossoff’s campaign.

One ad from the Republican-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund ties the Democrat to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

“The truth is Nancy Pelosi’s friends are bankrolling Ossoff’s campaign, because Ossoff will rubber stamp her liberal agenda,” the ad says.

Out-of-state volunteers

Money isn’t the only thing that’s coming to Ossoff from outside the district. Volunteers like Chris Machonis, a student in Virginia, have traveled to the Atlanta suburbs from around the country. Ossoff’s campaign paid for Machonis’ hotel and bus ride.

“Spent what felt like forever on that bus. Was probably about a 12- or 13-hour ride,” Machonis said, looking tired while taking a break from canvassing for the Ossoff campaign.

The bus arrived at Machonis’ hotel around 4:30 a.m., he said, but it was all worth it. For Machonis, an Ossoff win would be a sign to Republicans in Congress they need to be worried about Democrats stepping up.

“There’s a wave of activism and energy that’s about to hit them in midterms and all the elections to come,” Machonis said.

In the Atlanta suburbs, local volunteers are out knocking on doors for Republicans, too, but area GOP leader Jason Shepherd is worried the party isn’t as energized as Democrats like Machonis. Republicans need to act like they’re the underdogs, even if they’re not, Shepherd said.

“You know, if you run like your 10 points behind, you’re probably going to be 10 points ahead at the end of the day,” Shepherd said.

The money shows both Republicans and Democrats think this race is competitive.

https://www.marketplace.org/2017/04/13/elections/parties-spend-big-georgia-special-election

Rattled Republicans turn their eyes to Georgia

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — Republicans are white-knuckling their way through their party’s first major political tests under the Trump administration.

After the surprising close call in Kansas on Tuesday night, Republicans are now obsessing over a House special election in a slice of suburban Atlanta that has never been competitive before, where the GOP has spent millions to keep Democrats from capturing the district in an upset next week.

It’s no sure bet for Republicans. An angry, energized Democratic base looking to send a message to Donald Trump has turned Jon Ossoff, a previously unknown former congressional aide, into one of the best-funded House candidates ever ahead of an all-party primary next Tuesday.

The money — more than $8.3 million in the first three months of 2017 — has allowed Ossoff to blanket the airwaves with TV ads and carpet the streets of the district with door-knockers turning out friendly voters, trying to win the district outright with a majority in the special primary. Meanwhile, a bevy of Republican candidates have fought amongst themselves.

To add to those jangling nerves, Georgia Republicans watched their colleagues in Kansas survive a 20-point swing toward Democrats in another special election Tuesday night. Kansas state Treasurer Ron Estes won his race by less than 7 percentage points in a district Trump carried by 27 in November.

Republicans don’t have that kind of room in Georgia: While past presidential nominees and state candidates have typically won Georgia’s 6th District by wide margins, Trump carried it by less than 2 points against Hillary Clinton.

“I’d be an idiot if those results in Kansas didn’t cause me and Republicans concern” in Georgia, said Justin Tomczak, a Republican political adviser and activist in the state. “It’s a wakeup call.”

But unlike in Kansas, Republicans in Georgia sounded the alarm several weeks ago, prompting $2 million in spending from the NRCC to help boost Republican turnout and counter Democrats’ energy. The Congressional Leadership Fund, the super PAC aligned with House leadership, also dumped in more than $2 million of its own money and dispatched on-the-ground staffers to the district.

Looming over everything is Trump. While the Washington-based outside groups are trying to stop Ossoff, local Republican campaigns are wondering how pro-Trump they need to be to win GOP voters at the moment. And Democrats are testing just how far backlash to the president can carry them. “Does it give a candidate superpowers?” said Todd Rehm, a Republican consultant in the state.
“The contrast with what’s happening in Washington is clear, it’s not necessary to invoke it at every campaign stop,” Ossoff said.

That’s because the Trump factor already looms large, especially among approximately 3,500 volunteers working for Ossoff to turn out like-minded voters.

“I think there are a lot of people who are disappointed with the president,” said Elaine Bradley, a 65-year-old woman who rallied with other volunteers outside of Dunwoody Library during early voting this week. “Trump’s the reason I’m here.”

Georgia’s special election rules are unusual: All candidates run in the same primary regardless of party. If no one reaches a majority, the top two finishers will meet head-to-head in a June runoff. But Ossoff is aiming to win outright on April 18 by getting at least 50 percent. To do so, he’ll need to dramatically boost turnout among Democrats, young people and women in this affluent, well-educated suburb. He’ll also need to cut into Independents.

And in an off-year, mid-spring special election, turnout is a wild card. Ossoff’s campaign, anchored by four field offices, said it has knocked on over 100,000 doors and made more than 100,000 phone calls. The DCCC also sent down nine staffers to aid field efforts.

The top four Republican campaigns — former Secretary of State Karen Handel, former state Sen. Dan Moody, Johns Creek City Councilman Bob Gray and state Sen. Judson Hill — have collectively knocked on a combined 80,000 doors and counting, according to totals shared with POLITICO.

Still, some Republicans believe the natural conservative lean of the district will show through by Tuesday.

“By Democrats pumping in money here, they’ve awakened the sleeping giant that is the Republican base in the district,” said Jason Shepherd, chairman of the Cobb County Republican Party. “There are not enough Democrats here to win, unless the Republican base doesn’t turn out, but now the base knows that they need to turn out.”

Others still remain concerned.

“If [Ossoff] is spending half of that $8 million on turnout, then that might be the ballgame. It’s going to be close, but jeez, if we lose that …” said one Republican operative who’s worked on the race. “You can’t just have an air war and have TV ads, you have to have a ground war and that will swing the race. If you can swing three points in a non-special general with ground game, you can swing it 15 points in a special election.”

Republican candidates, meanwhile, are battling amongst themselves with help from outside groups that were big spenders in GOP primary wars of past years.

The anti-tax Club for Growth, which endorsed Gray, has spent nearly half a million dollars targeting Handel — a well-known former statewide officeholder — and Moody, a big-spending self-funder who has gained traction in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, Ending Spending, a group founded by the megadonor Ricketts family, is answering the Club’s attacks in a $1.3 million ad campaign boosting Handel. And Hill, who has trailed in some public polling but whose constituents make up a good chunk of the congressional district, put out his own ad this week that attacked all three of his top opponents.
“The more and more that this thing goes negative, the more it depresses Republican turnout,” said Jim Kingston, a Republican operative and son of former Rep. Jack Kingston. “And this is going to come down to who turns out their voters.”

Republicans on the ground, including the candidates, insist that Democrats are “living in fantasy land” if they think they’re going to flip a district that once put former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and current Sen. Johnny Isakson to the national stage, said Moody.

But that hasn’t slowed the enthusiasm of Ossoff’s army of canvassers, who are busily seeking out potential supporters like Adrienne LoRay, an African-American woman who lives in Chamblee, a dogwood-lined suburb north of Atlanta.

“Oh, good! You’re finally here,” LoRay shouted as she met Ossoff canvassers at her door on Saturday afternoon.

“I’ve never put a sign out before,” LoRay said, adding that she doesn’t affiliate with either party and likes to vote for candidates from both sides. “But I’ve been trying to get a yard sign for two weeks.”

LoRay took two signs for her corner yard and sent a picture to her family, reminding them to vote.

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/georgia-house-special-election-republicans-237173