A day after actress Alyssa Milano and actor Christopher Gorham (in Atlanta filming a new television show) took to social media and the streets on behalf of Democrat Congressional candidate Jon Ossoff, GOP hopeful Karen Handel used it to rally her camp.
"Jon Ossoff is riding a huge wave of support from the liberal media and celebrities in Hollywood," an email to supporters from the Handel campaign said. "In fact, just this morning we learned that Hollywood celebrity Alyssa Milano is working to elect Nancy Pelosi’s handpicked candidate right here in Georgia. That’s right – Hollywood is all-in on electing Ossoff."
That was followed up with a fundraising ask: "The Democrats have the liberal media and Hollywood celebrities to sing their praises. But we have something better: YOU. It’s critical that we come together now to support Republicans committed to fighting against the Democrats’ liberal vision for America."
Georgia's former Secretary of State and past U.S. Senate and gubernatorial candidate, Handel is one of 18 hopefuls seeking to fill the 6th Congressional District seat vacated when Tom Price became U.S. health and human services secretary. She's been endorsed by former U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, announcing the news via Twitter:
Tweets from Milano and Gorham on Ossoff's behalf - in some cases, showing them canvasing or even driving district residents to their precincts during early voting - have generated far more attention on social media.
A documentary filmmaker who was until recently unknown to even veteran Georgia strategists, Ossoff already had attracted some high-profile backing before this week's Twitter storm, with the left-leaning Daily Kos website raising more than $1 million for his campaign and actresses Debra Messing and Kristen Bell pledging their support.
Some of Ossoff’s Hollywood support is happening in Hollywood itself; actress Rose McGowan and producer Shannon Fitzgerald plan a fundraiser on Thursday.
The star power has some prominent rebukes.
“Nothing says ‘I care about local issues’ than flying in a Hollywood celebrity,” tweeted National Republican Congressional Committee Communications Director Matt Gorman.
“Breaking news – looks like John (sic) Ossoff’s campaign now employs Hollywood elitists to be in charge of his voter outreach program!” Maddie Anderson, the NRCC’s south/central regional press secretary said in an email. Her subject line noted that neither Ossoff nor his famous supporters actually live in the district: “Two celebrities who don’t live in GA-06 helps (sic) candidate who doesn’t either.”
Ossoff lives outside the district but said he plans to move into the 6th.