ATLANTA (AP) — An Atlanta TV news anchor quit his job to run for Congress next year in hopes of ousting Republican Rep. Karen Handel, who just got there after winning the most expensive House election in U.S. history.
Bobby Kaple told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday that he can succeed where fellow Democrat Jon Ossoff fell short in the June special election, which was widely regarded as a referendum on President Donald Trump.
“I decided I couldn’t sit at the anchor desk anymore and simply report on this mess,” Kaple said. “I had to get out and try to do what I can to fix it.”
Republicans haven’t yielded the metro Atlanta seat once held by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich since 1979. Democrats saw an opening this year when GOP Rep. Tom Price stepped down to join Trump’s administration. Money poured into Georgia from both sides and a record $50 million was spent on the race.
Kaple said he left his job as a morning and noon TV news anchor at CBS affiliate WGCL-TV last month in order to seek the Democratic nomination in Georgia’s 6th District. A former Georgia secretary of state, Handel must seek re-election to a full term next year.
Ossoff has yet to say whether he’ll seek a 2018 rematch with Handel. Kaple said he and Ossoff have spoken, and he’s running whether or not Ossoff tries a comeback.
“The fact is this is a different election and I’m a different candidate,” Kaple said.
At 34, Kaple is just a few years older than Ossoff. One distinction Kaple noted is that his home in the Atlanta suburb of Milton sits within the district’s boundaries, unlike Ossoff’s, whose residency became a frequent subject of GOP attacks.