Failed special election candidate Jon Ossoff will not run for Congress again

Remember Jon Ossoff? He’s the progressive candidate who ran in last year’s special election for Georgia’s 6th district seat. That election was hyped for months as a possible turning point for the Democratic party heading into 2018. Money poured in from around the country turning the race into the most expensive campaign ever waged for a House seat. But in the end, Ossoff still lost comfortably to Republican Karen Handel. Today, Jon Ossoff announced he wouldn’t be trying again saying, “I’ve decided that this is not the moment for me to run again for Congress.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a bit more on Ossoff’s decision:

Ossoff shattered records by raising nearly $30 million for the special election last year, ultimately losing to Handel by about 4 percentage points in a race that was viewed nationally as an early barometer for Democratic success in conservative-leaning districts.

The former congressional aide had hinted for months he was eyeing another bid for the seat, telling groups of Democratic donors he’s “not done fighting.” But with qualifying set to start in less than two weeks, and two challengers already in the race, there seemed little chance of him jumping in.

It’s worth noting that after outspending his Republican rival in the most expensive race in House history, Ossoff then made the rounds blaming his failure on money in politics. But he’s right when he tweets that last year’s special election wasn’t really about him. All the resistance money flowing in from out of state was really about opposition to Donald Trump and the future of the Democratic party. Had he won, his victory would have been touted as a sign of things to come. Instead, his loss became a “gut punch” for his party.

Democrats were counting on Ossoff, the boy wonder of Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District, to deliver the proof that, with Donald Trump in the White House, there was no limit to their political potential. But after a frenzied two-month runoff campaign between Ossoff and his Republican opponent, Karen Handel, the Democrat wound up with about the same proportion of the vote—48 percent—as Hillary Clinton got here in November. If this race was a referendum on Trump, the president won it.

It was a gut punch to Democrats’ confidence, a reality check to the idea that vast swaths of the country were ready to deliver a backlash. And it was the capstone to a losing season in which Democrats failed to capture any of the four Republican-held seats vacated by Trump’s cabinet appointees.

So long, Jon Ossoff, and thanks for giving the left-wing the reality check it badly needed.