The ‘armed and gay’ Senate hopeful who helped force Georgia’s runoff

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11/10/2022

The morning after the midterms, Chase Oliver was back at work. “That’s what most other Georgians have to do after an election,” he tells the Guardian. “I have a job and have to pay rent and the bills.” Oliver, 37, has two jobs, actually – one as a sales account executive for a financial services company and another as an HR rep for a securities firm. And as he toggled between email replies and Zoom interviews from his north-east Atlanta home, with three cats and a dog, Delilah, underfoot, you’d never suspect this natty, young Georgian had thrown a spanner into the cogs of American power. “You are possibly the most hated man in America right now,” read one post to his Facebook page. Oliver was the third candidate in Georgia’s US Senate race: a pro-gun, anti-cop, pro-choice Libertarian who proudly announces himself as the state’s first LGBTQ+ candidate – “armed and gay”, he boasts. And on Tuesday night, this surprise spoiler scored an historic upset of sorts, siphoning enough support away from the Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock and his Republican challenger Herschel Walker to force the election to a 6 December runoff – Georgia’s second in as many election cycles. Until then, there’s no telling whether the Democrats will retain control of the Senate.

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