Democrats turn to Obamacare to target endangered Georgia Republican

A screenshot from anti-Mike Cheokas ad.

A screenshot from anti-Mike Cheokas ad.

One of the state House’s most endangered Republican lawmakers is being pilloried over the Georgia GOP’s opposition to Medicaid expansion in the race’s final days.

State Rep. Mike Cheokas‘s Americus-based district is one of the swingiest in Georgia. And in the anti-Cheokas ad you can find here, his opponents aim to blame him for the state’s refusal to expand healthcare program, which Republicans say will be too costly in the long run.

“Hospitals in South Georgia are struggling, and some have had to shut down for good. Representative Mike Cheokas could have secured funding, but he chose scoring political points in Atlanta over doing what’s right,” the ad intones. “That’s a big-time choke.”

Cheokas didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment, but Republicans have also tried to capitalize on the rising premium rates under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

Some Democrats hope that if Cheokas, a Democrat-turned-Republican, loses on Tuesday, other rural Republicans who long opposed Medicaid expansion may be forced to give it a second look. Cheokas faces Democrat Bill McGowan, the former Americus mayor, in one of the party’s best chances to flip a GOP-held seat.

Both sides are flooding the southwest Georgia airwaves with ads, and Cheokas’ messaging focuses on his experience and influence at the statehouse. And Democrats are pressing every advantage they have, including by sending former First Lady Rosalynn Carter to stump for McGowan today.


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