High ranking Republicans are joining the fight for Georgia’s sixth Congressional district. Vacated by former Rep. Tom Price when he left to serve as HHS secretary, Democrats have made the special election a referendum on President Trump’s presidential performance thus far.

Speaker Paul Ryan will head to Georgia to headline a May 15 Handel campaign event.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan will headline an event in Georgia with Republican Karen Handel on May 15, making him the latest high-profile GOP leader to stump with the 6th Congressional District candidate.
Ryan campaign spokesman Zack Roday said the speaker is “proud to stand with Karen Handel, a strong conservative leader who will be a fighter for Georgians.”

Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state, has tried to quickly consolidate Republican support since landing a spot in the June 20 runoff against Democrat Jon Ossoff. President Donald Trump starred in an April fundraiser with her in Atlanta, while Ryan hosted a Washington event for the candidate last week.

The exact details of the Georgia event are still in the works, but Roday said Ryan is “excited to rally voters to get out and vote” for Handel.

Republicans see the contest to represent the district, which stretches from east Cobb County to north DeKalb County, as a must-win scenario. The GOP has held the seat for decades, and it’s been a launching pad to bigger titles for Newt Gingrich, Johnny Isakson and Tom Price.

Ryan isn’t the only high-ranking Republican to throw Handel an assist. President Trump helped the Handel campaign raise $750,000 during a brief jaunt in Atlanta last week. From The East Cobb Patch:

President Donald Trump came to Atlanta Friday with a two-fold purpose: to bolster his base by speaking at the National Rifle Association annual convention — and to buoy the surging political campaign of 6th Congressional District Republican candidate Karen Handel. It’s safe to say, Trump succeeded on both fronts.

At the Capital City Club in downtown Atlanta, the president appeared at a Friday afternoon fundraiser for Handel that invited some of the biggest GOP donors in the state. Trump helped the former Secretary of State raise about $750,000, her campaign announced.

“I am honored to have President Trump’s support in this election,” Handel said. “Like President Trump, I too have a record of shaking things up and if elected to Congress I hope to work with him to get things done. It is time we stop the talking in Washington and start to look towards governing.”

Handel needs the cash in what is on pace to be the most expensive House race in the nation’s history. Her opponent, first-time candidate and Democrat Jon Ossoff, raised a startling $8.3 million in his run-up to the April 18 special election, falling just short of winning it outright and turning the 6th District — a swath of affluent suburban Atlanta encompassing parts of Cobb, Fulton and DeKalb — from red to blue.

The Patch also reports a Pro-Ryan PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund, will drop $2.5 million in ads on behalf on Handel, starting Wednesday.

Ryan’s Handel-stumping is likely meant to shore up the vast GOP base, especially among the not-so-thrilled with Trump GOP voters in the district, of whom there are many.

Handel and Democratic contender, Jon Ossoff, will square off June 20th in the run-off election.

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