Democrat Jon Ossoff lost his bid against Republican Karen Handel in Georgia’s Sixth District special congressional election Tuesday night, representing a stunning rebuke of Hollywood and the numerous celebrities who stumped for and contributed to the Democrat’s campaign.
The race to fill the seat long held by former Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), now President Donald Trump’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, had received national media attention as Democrats used the contest as an opportunity to measure the party’s prospects to win elections in the run-up to the 2018 midterms.
Ossoff, a 30-year-old documentary filmmaker-turned-Democratic politician, had received a steady stream of support from some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Some of the most vocal celebrity critics of President Donald Trump, including Rosie O’Donnell, Jane Fonda, and Samuel L. Jackson, donated time and money to help Ossoff’s campaign.
In April, Jackson cut a 45-second radio ad endorsing Ossoff, urging Georgia voters to “stop Donald Trump, a man who encourages racial and religious discrimination and sexism.”
Actor John Leguizamo’s assertion that democracy itself hinged on Ossoff winning underscored how desperate Hollywood was to send a resounding message of resistance to Trump’s presidency.
But Tuesday’s results were likely to prompt more soul-searching among the political left, who are still looking for their first significant post-Trump election victory.
Actress Alyssa Milano, an early Ossoff supporter, personally drove voters to polling sites for the Democrat during the April election that forced Tuesday’s runoff.