U.S. Rep. Jody Hice represents one of the redder
districts in the nation, a northeast Georgia stretch splattered around
the deep-blue island of Athens. He’s drawn a 2018 challenger who aims to
energize those core Democrats in next year’s midterms.
Chalis Montgomery, a 39-year-old educator and youth ministry leader,
is backing an ardently progressive platform. She lists an immigration
overhaul, criminal justice reform and access to college and vocational
training for all among her policy platforms.
But she’s centering her campaign on a call for universal healthcare.
Her announcement tells of her 9-year-old daughter Gwen, who suffers from
the pre-existing condition of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and thus is
covered by the Affordable Care Act.
She said Hice, who voted to repeal and replace the measure this year
after initial concerns that it didn’t shave costs too deeply, took a
stance that is “devastating to children like her.”
She faces a tougher battle than candidates eyeing nearby suburban
Atlanta districts, like the newly-competitive Sixth and Seventh
Districts, where changing demographics and skepticism to Trump have
buoyed Democratic hopes.
Trump easily carried the 10th District and Hice, who captured
two-thirds of the vote when first elected in 2014, didn’t even face an
opponent in November. (Though a super PAC tried to recruit a local
candidate: And what a disaster that would have been.)