2020 Georgia Senate #1 January 5 Runoff Election Candidate Guide

Jon Ossoff - Democrat
Jon Ossoff - Democrat
David Perdue - Republican (Incumbent)
David Perdue - Republican (Incumbent)

January 5 is the runoff election for GA’s two U.S. Senate seats.  See GArunoff.us for key information.

See Guides.vote for more online guides with links and sources. Volunteer at electjon.com or perduesenate.com. Download a PDF version of this guide.

AFFORDABLE CARE ACT – Support Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare?

Ossoff – Yes. Will “work to improve [ACA], not repeal it, so we can make affordable insurance and quality care available to all Americans.

Perdue – No. Voted to repeal ACA. “The poorest among us will continue to be fined because they can’t afford Obamacare.”

CAMPAIGN FINANCE – Limit campaign donations? Require political ads to disclose largest funders?

Ossoff – Yes. “We must end Citizens United and get secret, dark money out of politics.”

Perdue – No position found.

CLIMATE CHANGE – Consider human-caused climate change a serious threat?

Ossoff – Yes. “Climate change is a major threat to our prosperity and our security,” part of “a broader environmental and ecological crisis.”

Perdue – No. “The scientific community is not in total agreement” about human cause. Supports Trump withdrawal from Paris Agreement.

CLIMATE CHANGE – Address as a top priority by taxing or limiting output of greenhouse gases, supporting renewable energy?

Ossoff – Yes. Will “deliver massive federal investment in clean energy, grid infrastructure, R&D.”

Perdue – Mostly no. Opposed Obama’s Clean Power Plan and limits on offshore drilling. Supports biomass investment.

COURT—SUPREME COURT – Pick Ruth Bader Ginsburg replacement now or let November winner choose? See CEEP Supreme Court guide.

Ossoff – Wait. “We must let the people speak at the ballot box, and then let the court reflect the will of the newly-elected president and Senate.”

Perdue – Confirm nominee before the November election. “The choice for the future of the Supreme Court is clear, and our nation’s founding principles are at stake.”

COVID-19 – Support administration’s response to coronavirus pandemic?

Ossoff – No. Calls the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic “gross incompetence.”

Perdue – Yes. Trump and Pence are “taking the coronavirus very seriously.”  “We’ve done everything we could.”

COVID-19 Economic Response – Support administration’s economic response to coronavirus pandemic?

Ossoff – No. “Tens of millions are losing jobs, … essential workers are underpaid, under-protected and underinsured … [while] help for ordinary people and smaller firms has been meager and slow.”

Perdue – Yes. Serves on Trump Economic Task Force.  Trump “has taken unprecedented action to protect the American people; … now we’re working to safely reopen [and] help small businesses continue to weather this crisis.”

EDUCATION – Public funding for private or for-profit schools?

Ossoff – No position found. Focuses on increasing teacher pay and strengthening public schools.

Perdue – Yes. Supports “school choice,” including charter and private schools.

ENVIRONMENT – Tighten or loosen environmental regulations?

Ossoff – Tighten. Will work to reverse Trump “rollbacks of clean air, clean water, and fuel economy standards.”

Perdue – Mostly loosen. Roll back “stifling Obama-era regulations.” Against reducing waste and emissions. Reduce plastic waste in oceans.

FINANCIAL REGULATION – Tighten or loosen regulation of banks and credit card companies?

Ossoff – Tighten. Seeks more regulation of the banking system, reinstating  Glass-Steagall Act.

Perdue – Loosen. Supports  “rollback of federal banking regulations.” Calls Consumer Financial Protection Bureau “rogue agency.”

GUN LAWS – Enact more restrictive legislation on guns?

Ossoff – Yes. Supports universal background checks, red-flag laws, closing gun-show loophole, as well as a ban on assault weapons.

Perdue – Mixed. “We have ample gun laws on the books” and should enforce them.  Supports some more stringent background checks.

IMMIGRATION – Path to citizenship for DACA participants brought to U.S. as children? Position on expanding border walls and limiting legal immigration?

Ossoff – Yes. “DREAMers are Americans … here to stay.” Supports “path to legal status for undocumented immigrants.” “Strong border security doesn’t require” sacrificing “our moral principles.”

Perdue – Mixed. Supports Trump proposal for DACA path to citizenship tied to cutbacks in legal immigration and funding for wall. DACA brings “chain migration.” Supported limiting visas to “create a merit-based immigration system.”

IMPEACHMENT – Support calling witnesses and convicting Trump on impeachment charges?

Ossoff – Yes. “If Trump pressured a foreign power to smear his political opponent … he should be impeached.”

Perdue – No on both. Called impeachment “a partisan political weapon … aimed at overturning the 2016 election.” 

IRAN – Oppose military attacks on Iran without congressional approval?

Ossoff – No position found, although opposed Trump withdrawal from Iran nuclear treaty.

Perdue – No. Opposed bill to require approval. Supported 2020 attack; “justice has been served.”

LABOR – Support “right to work” laws, banning unions from mandating dues for workers they represent?

Ossoff – No position found. Has been endorsed by United Auto Workers.

Perdue – Yes. Co-sponsored National Right-to-Work Act.

LEGAL ABORTION – Keep legal or ban?

Ossoff – Legal. “I will only vote to confirm federal judges who pledge to uphold Roe v. Wade.”

Perdue – Ban. “Will continue fighting to protect the unborn.” Backed ban on most abortions after six weeks that the courts overturned.

LGBT RIGHTS – Support gay marriage and other LGBTQ rights issues?

Ossoff – Yes. Supports LGBTQ Rights, and Equality Act against discrimination for gender or orientation.

Perdue – No. Sees marriage as “between one man and one woman.” In legalizing same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court “overstepped” its role.

MARIJUANA – Decriminalize or legalize?

Ossoff – Yes. “It’s past time to legalize, regulate and tax cannabis.”

Perdue – Medical yes. Supports access to medical marijuana. As of 2014, opposed recreational.

MINIMUM WAGE – Raise federal hourly minimum wage above current $7.25?

Ossoff – Yes. “Fight to make sure the minimum wage is a livable wage.”

Perdue – No recent position. In 2014 said if “increase the minimum wage, you will kill jobs.”

POLICE/COMMUNITY ISSUES – Restrict police use of force and increase public oversight?

Ossoff – Yes. “We urgently need a New Civil Rights Act to establish national standards for use [of] force by American police!

Perdue – Mixed. “Do we need police reform? Absolutely. But … the vast majority of police officers protect us honorably.”

PLANNED PARENTHOOD – Support Planned Parenthood’s receiving public funds for non-abortion care?

Ossoff – Yes.  Will defend Planned Parenthood’s “essential preventative and reproductive health care services.”

Perdue – No. Co-sponsored bill to end any federal funding of Planned Parenthood.

SAUDI ARABIA – Support blocking arms sales to Saudi Arabia?

Ossoff – Yes. Reject “regime that executes political dissidents, executes people for their sexuality and brutally murders journalists.

Perdue – No. Voted in U.S. Senate against resolution blocking Saudi arms sales.

STUDENT FINANCIAL AID – Support free or subsidized tuition for lower-income individuals?

Ossoff – Yes. Supports debt forgiveness and making public college, state school, or trade school education “debt-free.”

Perdue – No. Promises of free tuition are what “the Soviets did in Russia, the Germans did in ’33,” and what the Cubans and Venezuelans did.

TAXES – Support administration’s $1.9 trillion (2017) tax cuts?

Ossoff – No. “We borrow trillions to cut taxes for the wealthy & powerful.”

Perdue – Yes. “The tax cuts passed by the U.S. Senate … are already having a positive impact across the country.”

VOTING RIGHTS – Strict ID and other rules to combat possible fraud, even if limiting access?

Ossoff – No. Criticizes “major purges” of voter rolls and “mass disenfranchisement.” Need a new Voting Rights Act.

Perdue – No position found. On chaotic GA primary, “more than 150 counties didn’t have any problem. In a few we did. … This idea of voter suppression is a lie right out of the pit of hell.”

Campus Election Engagement Project is a nonpartisan effort to help colleges engage students in elections. Sources include Votesmart.org, FactCheck.org, Politifact.com and candidate statements. Vote411.org and Ballotready.org offer guides to local races.