Georgia Republicans handily beat back an attempt by Democratic documentarian Jon Ossoff to wrest that state’s Sixth District congressional seat from the GOP’s Karen Handel. The victory was in part due to pro-Handel television commercials aired by the Republican Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC that featured glowing Ossoff testimonials from fake San Franciscans. “We already have Nancy Pelosi as our Congresswoman,” says one gleeful Bay Area voter, “now you’re going to give us Jon Ossoff as our Congressman.” A cable car bearing Ossoff’s picture, a peace sign, and the words “San Francisco’s Congressman,” whizzes by at the end of the spot. Billed as the most expensive House race in history, with more than $50 million in overall spending, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, both sides in the contest cast a wide net for cash, including pitches to San Diego donors.
The big winner of the funding derby here was Ossoff, with a total of $69,383 collected in the county for his campaign committee. Top donor was Cynthia Walk, professor emerita of German literature & film studies at UCSD. Next in line was Seung Ho Park, with $3000, and Laura Nathanson, widow of Charles Nathanson, founder of San Diego Dialogue at UCSD, at $2150, according to a spreadsheet analysis of federal disclosure filings. Forty one percent of the Ossoff funds were given by San Diego city residents, 15 percent more came from those in La Jolla, and 6.85 percent were produced in La Mesa.
Republican Handel’s committee pulled in just $10,870, with $2700 of that given by Rancho Santa Fe’s Douglas Kimmelman, a wealthy Goldman Sachs alumnus and founder of Energy Capital Partners, “a private equity firm focused on investing in North America’s energy infrastructure,” per the company’s website. He’s also been a big Trump donor, with $240,400 last year. Short Hills, New Jersey, where Kimmelman’s firm is based, claims him as a favorite son, with a net worth of $1.85 billion making him the richest person in the state, says myCentralJersey.com. Meanwhile, back in San Diego County, Handel’s second-largest donor was Jamul’s Walter Tulloch of civil engineering consultant NV5, with $2000. Non–La Jolla San Diegans made up 39 percent of the Handel total, with La Jolla denizens responsible for 15.25 percent and Rancho Santa Fe in third place at 7.87 percent.