Getting a “Handel” on the District 6 Election

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Two months ago, it was impossible to avoid campaign ads if you were anywhere near the 6th district. Everywhere you went it seemed you couldn’t escape this election. No matter where you would go, you’d be bombarded with the sound of campaign ads, phone calls and whatever else they could throw at you. Why was this one election so important compared to the rest of the local elections?

This election was so vital because it would be indicative of what the next four years of life in the United States would be like. Jon Ossoff represented change and the ability for Democrats to oppose what they don’t support in Trump. He hoped to flip the historically Republican 6th District and set an example for the rest of the country to follow.

AP Government teacher Chris Yoder said, “If a historically Republican district begins to lean a little the other way, it might create a buzz if in this one isolated election, this district threw in for whoever the Democrat was.”

Karen Handel represented the Republican status-quo and more of the same politics the district has seen in the past. While the seat she were running for was important, it was more about setting a precedent for the rest of the country. Democrats were on the offensive in this campaign. According to the Washington Examiner, their party alone spent over 24 million dollars on the race, making it one of the most expensive campaigns of all time. Handel’s victory showed the rest of the country that most of the historically Republican districts would stay Republican unless a drastic change happens over the next four years.

Anyone can get involved with and volunteer in politics. Some Wesleyan students even worked side-by-side with candidates in this election. One in particular, junior Patterson Beaman, got involved more than anyone else. Beaman has always had a flair for politics and saw an opportunity to hone his skills and network in this election. His first campaign was with Scott Hilton two years ago and he has been volunteering on different campaigns ever since.

When asked about why he was so interested in politics he said, “I enjoy politics because it combines three things I love doing most, which are influencing people, working with people and entertainment.” Instead of waiting until college and his adult life to get started on his career, Beaman has already begun furthering his political career. When asked about what Wesleyan students can do to get involved, the biggest piece of advice he gave is “Do not fear these politicians, they are really more in your hands than you’re in their hands.” Beaman also encouraged students “just to reach out.” When asked what some of the biggest advantages of volunteering are, he said that “It’s a great thing to put on your college resumé and its part of being a good citizen to participate in local government.”

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