Handel, Ossoff meet in District 6 congressional debate - CBS46 News

Handel, Ossoff meet in District 6 congressional debate

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(Source: Mike Dunston/CBS46) (Source: Mike Dunston/CBS46)
(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)

Karen Handel wants voters in Atlanta's northern suburbs to stick with a Republican in Congress, just like they've done since 1979. Democrat Jon Ossoff says Georgia's 6th Congressional District should make a change.

The two rivals met Tuesday in their first televised debate, two weeks ahead of a June 20 election that has garnered national attention and an avalanche of spending.

(MORE: Despite spending big money, District 6 candidates ask for more)

"Secretary Handel supports a bill that would gut the protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions...for breast cancer screenings at planned parenthood," said Ossoff at the debate.

"My sister has a pre-existing condition," Handel countered. "She was born without an esophagus...more protections for those with pre-existing conditions."

This is the most expensive congressional race in U.S. history and Handel went on the attack when it comes to campaign financing.

"Your campaign is being propelled by the most liberal of elements...from Nancy Pelosi to Hank Johnson to Jane Fonda...they are not from this district," said Handel.

"Most of the advertising that's been running on Secretary Handel's behalf...in anonymous amounts," said Ossoff.

Handel had previously accused Ossoff of not wanting national exposure because of his "flimsy resume." Ossoff says he wants to focus on the local community, and also accused Handel of hiding from the media. 

Handel is also attacking Ossoff for not agreeing to a nationally televised debate on a cable network.

(MORE: Meet both candidates: Handel and Ossoff)

His spokesperson says Ossoff is committed to local debates moderated by members of the metro Atlanta press, and couldn't come to an agreement with that cable network.

Ossoff is also pointing fingers at Handel for not participating in a local forum in Marietta.

(MORE: More District 6 polling locations changed as special election nears)

The election is another test for how President Donald Trump and the Republican-run Congress are playing with voters outside Washington. Republicans already have won special House elections this spring in Kansas and Montana.

Handel and Ossoff have downplayed the national significance of their matchup.

The winner will replace Republican Tom Price, who's now Trump's health secretary. Another debate is scheduled for Thursday.

CBS46 will also broadcast our campaign special "The Showdown in District 6" which will air on the channel on Tuesday, June 13 at 9 p.m.

(MORE: District 6 coverage)

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