Jacob Cooper and Eric Hernandez were hanging out at a Chick-fil-A on Thursday night when Hernandez got a text.
It was from his cousin, a flight attendant on Air Force Two, asking the Kennesaw 20-somethings if they wanted to hear the Vice President of the United States of America speak the next day.
So there they stood Friday afternoon, themselves Pence supporters, among hundreds of enlisted and commissioned military members inside a hangar at Dobbins Air Reserve Base to see the second-most-powerful man in the free world.
Vice President Mike Pence flew into the Marietta reserve base a couple of hours before his appearance at a fundraiser for Republican Karen Handel’s 6th Congressional District race.
Pence later appeared with Handel at a fundraiser at Cobb Energy Centre, telling guests at a $1,500-a-head luncheon that the Republican would help repeal the Affordable Care Act and pass one of the "largest tax cuts in American history" if she defeats Ossoff.
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The June 20 runoff is about “whether we turn back to the policies and leadership the American people just turned out,” Pence said, a reference to former President Barack Obama and other Democrats. He urged conservatives to vote and then “bow the head and bend the knee” to pray for a Handel win.
Handel told guests at the fundraiser they raised almost $250,000 from the event, putting her campaign over the $5 million mark. She's struggled to keep pace with Ossoff, who has shattered fundraising records by collecting more than $23 million since January. The event was a private gathering, but AJC columnist Kyle Wingfield tweeted a string of developments as a pool reporter with Pence.
Handel tells guests at fund-raising luncheon they raised almost $250K, put her campaign over the $5M mark. #gapol
The vice president's appearance at the planned fundraiser comes the same day a poll by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution showed Ossoff with a seven-point edge over Handel, with him leading 51 to 44 percent.
Ben Brasch is the reporter tasked with keeping Fulton County government accountable. The Florida native moved to Atlanta for a job with The AJC. If there's something important to you going on in Fulton, he wants to know about it. Help him better metro Atlanta by dropping a line, anonymously or otherwise.