Georgia U.S. Senate Race 1

Candidate Comparison

 


David Perdue (R)

Incumbent

 


Jon Ossoff (D)

Challenger

Bio: David Perdue is the incumbent senior United States Senator from Georgia and the Republican nominee for the United States Senate runoff election in Georgia. Prior to being elected to the Senate in 2014, Senator Perdue spent 40 years in business, including as the former CEO of Reebok and Dollar General. Senator Perdue was born in Macon, Georgia to two school teachers. He received his undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering and a Master’s in Operations Research from Georgia Tech. He serves on the Armed Services, Banking, Budget, and Foreign Relations committees in the Senate.

Bio: Jon Ossoff is a media executive, investigative journalist, and the Democratic nominee for the United States Senate runoff election in Georgia. Since 2013, Mr. Ossoff has served as the CEO of Insight TWI, an investigative journalism company that exposes international corruption and crime. Prior to this role, Mr. Ossoff was a national security aide to Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA). Mr. Ossoff unsuccessfully ran for Congress in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District in a 2017 special election. He received a Bachelor of Science from Georgetown University and a Master of Science from the London School of Economics.

COVID-19 and Broadband Access: Senator Perdue is the sponsor of the Safely Creating Healthy Opening Options Locally (SCHOOL) Act, which would establish a federal grant program and provide other federal resources for school districts to reopen following COVID-19-related closures. The bill would provide grants for purchasing personal protective equipment and cleaning and health-related supplies. Senator Perdue voted for the passage of the CARES Act, which provided $30.75 billion in emergency elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education relief for schools and institutions of higher education in the United States in the wake of the pandemic. Senator Perdue noted the importance of broadband to virtual learning.

COVID-19 and Broadband Access: If he is elected to the United States Senate, Mr. Ossoff plans to expand access to rural broadband and provide help to school systems during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Mr. Ossoff, school districts need three main levers of support to help them recover from the pandemic: “financial resources, expertise and training, and technology equipment.” Mr. Ossoff also plans to work toward passing a bill that includes investments in major infrastructure projects, including broadband.

Early Childhood Education: Senator Perdue’s campaign website and publicly-available statements do not include a plan for expanding access to affordable, high-quality early childhood education if he is reelected to the United States Senate.

Early Childhood Education: Upon receiving an endorsement from the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE), Mr. Ossoff stated that he “looks forward to [expanding] Pre-K education,” and fulfilling other K-12 and postsecondary education promises.

Resource Equity: Senator Perdue’s campaign website and publicly-available statements do not include a plan for advancing resource equity in schools across the United States if he is reelected to the United States Senate.

Resource Equity: If he is elected to the United States Senate, Mr. Ossoff plans to “break the link” between a community’s wealth and its availability of public school funding, but he did not specify how he plans to do so.

Private School Choice: Senator Perdue supports private school choice. He supported National School Choice Week in January 2018 and 2019.

Private School Choice: Mr. Ossoff’s campaign website and publicly-available statements do not indicate whether he supports or opposes the use of taxpayer funds for private school vouchers, education savings accounts, and tax-credit scholarships.

Support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs): Senator Perdue has cosponsored numerous bills related to HBCUs, including Senator Cory Booker’s HBCU Capital Financing Improvement Act, which would modify the ability of HBCUs to access low-cost federal loans to finance infrastructure repairs, maintenance and construction; and Senator Tim Scott’s HBCU Propelling Agency Relationships Towards a New Era of Results for Students Act, which would improve the capacity of HBCUs to participate in federal programs. Senator Perdue also helped secure funding for HBCU agriculture scholarships in the 2018 Farm Bill.

Support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs): Mr. Ossoff held a series of meetings with leaders, faculty members, and alumni from all 10 of Georgia’s HBCUs during Summer 2020 and developed a series of policy proposals based on his conversations. If he is elected to the United States Senate, Mr. Ossoff plans to focus on: emergency pandemic support for HBCUs to help HBCUs cover their budget shortfalls; tuition affordability to ensure that public and private HBCUs are debt-free; expanding facilities and technology grants for HBCUs; establishing public health clinics near HBCUs and more than 200 new Centers of Excellence at HBCUs to create more career opportunities for Black students; increasing public funding for HBCUs to help grow their endowments; and returning Morris Brown College’s full accreditation status.

Wraparound Services and Community Schools: Senator Perdue’s campaign website and publicly-available statements do not include a plan for expanding access to wraparound services and community schools if he is reelected to the United States Senate.

Wraparound Services and Community Schools: Mr. Ossoff’s campaign website and publicly-available statements do not include a plan for expanding access to wraparound services and community schools if he is elected to the United States Senate.

Student Safety: Senator Perdue sponsored the School Safety Clearinghouse Act (S.2530), which would direct the Department of Homeland Security to establish a central federal resource for evidence-based practices and information related to school safety.

Student Safety: Mr. Ossoff’s campaign website and publicly-available statements do not indicate how he would promote student safety and reform unfair disciplinary practices if he is elected to the United States Senate.

Teacher Recruitment and Retention: Senator Perdue’s campaign website and publicly-available statements do not indicate how he would promote teacher recruitment and retention if he is reelected to the United States Senate.

Teacher Recruitment and Retention: Mr. Ossoff supports increasing teacher pay to “improve the quality of primary and secondary education.”

Election 2020

Education Equity on the Ballot

U.S. Senate Runoff

What You Need To Know