Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry speaks during an event to welcome Syrian refugee families who have recently resettled in the city of Clarkston, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015, in Clarkston, Ga. BRANDEN CAMP/SPECIAL
Photo: Greg Bluestein/Political Insider blog
Photo: Greg Bluestein/Political Insider blog

Georgia Senate: Ossoff picks up former rival Terry’s endorsement

Former U.S. Senate candidate Ted Terry endorsed Jon Ossoff’s campaign to unseat Republican David Perdue on Wednesday, praising his pledge to “lead an all-out attack on political corruption” and pursue left-leaning policies. 

The former Clarkston mayor, who dropped out of the race in January, built a high profile among Georgia progressives and was one of the most prominent local supporters of Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid. 

“I’ve worked with Jon to advance a progressive agenda in Georgia for over a decade, and I know Jon has the experience, vision, and values to move Georgia forward,” said Terry, who is now running for a DeKalb County commission seat. 

Ossoff tops the few public polls in the June 9 race against his two main opponents, business executive Sarah Riggs Amico and former Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson, and he’s amassed the biggest campaign account in the Senate primary. 

Amico also enjoys high name recognition from her 2018 bid for lieutenant governor and support from influential union organizers. And Tomlinson has earned a trove of endorsements, too, including former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young and ex-U.S. Sen. Max Cleland.  

More: Democratic U.S. Senate candidates jockey to be front-runner in debate

More: Georgia’s Democratic U.S. Senate hopefuls make virus response top issue

Ossoff’s supporters hope Terry can help energize young voters during a pandemic that’s shifted attention from the primary, and lend organizational experience to an unpredictable race.

Ossoff, an investigative journalist and former congressional candidate, said the duo would work to mobilize “unprecedented youth turnout in 2020” against Perdue, a first-term Republican and former Fortune 500 chief executive.

Terry’s campaign was built around his efforts to push Clarkston, a town of about 13,000 people, to embrace liberal policies such as higher minimum wages, stricter clean energy standards and more welcoming immigration policies. 

But Terry, known to supporters as the “millennial mayor,” failed to gain traction beyond a core group of liberals who admired his stewardship of a city so diverse it’s often described as the “Ellis Island of the South.” 

In his endorsement, Terry praised Ossoff for pushing for a “massive investment in clean energy,” a federal criminal justice overhaul and an expansion of transit. 

“Those are the issues that matter to the largest voting bloc in America – millennial voters,” said Terry. 

Ted Terry speaks as Sarah Riggs Amico, Teresa Tomlinson and Jon Ossoff at a January 20 forum of Senate Democratic candidates.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. Atlanta. News. Now.

Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. Atlanta. News. Now.

About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.