Please rotate your screen to portrait for optimal viewing experience

Here's why you should care about Georgia's special election by Kellan Howell
People

WATCH | 18 candidates are running for Congress in Georgia's 6th district to fill the seat left vacant by Tom Price. One candidate is leading the pack, and Democrats are hoping Jon Ossoff can flip the historically red district to blue. Here's what you need to know about Ossoff.

UPDATE April 18, 5:05 p.m. Trump blasted Ossoff because he lives outside the 6th district.

In an interview with CNN, Ossoff said he's been "very transparent" about the fact that he lives outside of the 6th district where he is running for Congress -- a talking point Republicans have latched on to. 

Ossoff explained that he grew up in the 6th district, but now lives with his girlfriend of 12 years near Emory University, where she is a full-time medical student. 

He said as soon as his girlfriend, Alisha, finishes school, "I'll be 10 minutes back up the street into the district where I grew up..."

UPDATE April 18, 9:16 a.m. EST: President Trump seems invested in this election.

He urged Georgia Republicans to get out and vote and force a runoff.

Ossoff told CNN the President is "misinformed" about his priorities. 

Who is Jon Ossoff? 

Ossoff, 30, grew up outside of Atlanta, GA in Northlake. His father, a Jew of Lithuanian heritage runs a publishing company and his mother, an Australian immigrant, co-founded a nonprofit dedicated to helping women get elected to state office. 

He went to college at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and later earned a master's degree from the London School of Economics. 

While he was in high school, Ossoff interned for civil rights leader, Rep. John Lewis.

Later, he worked as a national security staffer and aide for Rep. Hank Johnson.

Since 2013, Ossoff has run a small, investigative documentary filmmaking company called Insights TWI. 

His company produces films investigating corruption and organized crime. 

What's his message? 

Ossoff honed in on an anti-Trump,  progressive campaign message. He says he wants to heal the divides that were created by the 2016 presidential election and bring accountability back to Washington. 

"By running a positive campaign and uniting people around core shared American values like humility, decency and respect, I think we’re building a coalition here of united people," Ossoff told the Associated Press. 

Republicans have tried to use Ossoff's social media posts against him.  The conservative Congressional Leadership Fund Super PAC attempted to undermine Ossoff with this ad, using old video of Ossoff dressed as Han Solo from "Star Wars" during his college days.  

But it hasn't seemed to phase Ossoff or Democrats who are backing him. The Democratic group, Better Georgia used the same clip to make their own "Star Wars" ad supporting Ossoff saying "district 6 has a new hope." 

Who's backing him? 

Ossoff has already raised over $8 million dollars, more than any other candidate in this election. A lot of that money has come from outside the state. Heavy hitters in Silicon Valley and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have poured millions into his campaign. Even Samuel L. Jackson cut a radio ad supporting Ossoff. 

He's also received endorsements from both Lewis and Johnson as well as big progressive groups like Moveon.org and End Citizens United. 

Deborah Messing has also been showing Ossoff some love. 

What are his odds? 

Pretty strong actually, considering Georgia is a deep red state, and that's got Republicans worried. 

The latest polls show Ossoff leading the pack with over 41 percent of the vote. Republican Karen Handel is in second with about 17 percent, according to a WSB-TV poll. 

Republicans already had a close call in the Kansas special election. Republican Ron Estes beat Democrat James Thompson by just seven points in the election to replace Mike Pompeo.

Even President Trump seems nervous about Ossoff's chances. 

It all goes down on Tuesday. If none of the candidates win 50 percent or more of the vote, then the top two candidates, regardless of party, go on to a runoff election in June.  Polls close at 7:00 p.m. EST.