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Democrats pour another $1 million into Georgia congressional runoff

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The conservative-leaning, suburban Atlanta district has been in GOP hands since 1979. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Democrats are attacking Republican Karen Handel as a big spending "career politician" in a new $1 million advertising campaign that was set to hit broadcast and cable television in Atlanta on Wednesday.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is airing a new 30-second television spot and 15-second digital ad, on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, in a bid to boost Democrat Jon Ossoff in the June 20 special election runoff to fill Georgia's vacant 6th congressional district seat. The conservative-leaning, suburban Atlanta district has been in GOP hands since 1979.

"We're excited to continue supporting Jon's strong and exciting campaign in smart ways," DCCC spokesman Evan Lukaske said in a statement.

This latest ad buy from the DCCC is on top of the nearly $1 million the committee has invested in the runoff campaign previously. The DCCC also has an eight-man field team in the district aiding the Ossoff campaign with voter turnout.Ossoff finished first in the open primary, but failed to crack the 50 percent he needed to win the seat outright.

Handel, the former Georgia secretary of state, is favored in the runoff. Ossoff finished close to 50 percent in the primary in part because a crowded field of Republicans divided up the vote hoping to advance to a runoff in which they would presumably be favored.

Democrats, energized by opposition to President Trump, have been pouring resources into the Georgia 6 campaign, hoping to steal the seat formerly held by Tom Price, Trump's Health and Human Services secretary. A win would put a small dent in the Republicans' 24-seat House majority ahead of the 2018 midterms.

Trump only narrowly carried the district over Democrat Hillary Clinton last year, although Price was re-elected by a decisive margin.

The new DCCC ad is titled "Career Politician, and, according to the committee, "highlights that in the midst of Georgia's worst budget crisis since the Great Depression, Handel increased her office budget 43%, spent tax dollars to pay for a luxury SUV, traveled to foreign countries, and suggested spending $15,000 on office chairs."

Republicans are equally invested in the race, with the National Republican Congressional Committee and Congressional Leadership Fund, House Speaker Paul Ryan's super PAC, spending millions to boost Handel.