ATLANTA — During a Black Lives Matter rally on Sunday at Big Bethel AME Church in Atlanta, it would have been easy to miss the masked face of former Congressional candidate Jon Ossoff.
The Democrat is now running for the US Senate. But his personal appearances, like the one Sunday, have all-but vanished in an era of social distancing.
“It was great to get outdoors with the people. But we’re continuing to be cautious and put public health above all,” said Ossoff, whose wife is a physician.
What that means is that Ossoff and his biggest challengers -- former Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson and former candidate for Lieutenant Governor, Sarah Riggs Amico -- have been mostly relegated to virtual town halls, social media appearances, and of course, TV commercials.
“I certainly feel something is missing, because I have a good handshake,” Tomlinson chuckled on Monday. “I am born and raised in Georgia, so I love to slap people on the shoulder and just interact with people.”
Yet, in some ways, it’s never been a better time for Democrats to run for office.
Democrats say the coronavirus pandemic has exposed flaws in the private-sector health care and health insurance system.
And more than a week of street protests have given voters a stark new look at criminal justice reform and race relations.
Ossoff, Tomlinson and Amico say both issues have resonated in the last few weeks of the US Senate campaign -- even if the Democrats running have been limited in their face-to-face exposure to voters.
“I think it’s going to be one of the most important dynamics, not only in the election tomorrow, but in our country’s history,” Amico said.
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