Former Atlanta TV news anchor Bobby Kaple will run as a Democrat to challenge U.S. Rep. Karen Handel in the 6th Congressional District next year, he announced Oct. 9.

Bobby Kaple

Kaple, a Milton resident, left his journalism job at CBS46 last month, saying he would run for office. In a press release, he said his priority is healthcare reform that includes coverage for pre-existing conditions, partly because his twin children were born prematurely and needed extra care.

“I’m running for Congress because my kids, my mom, my family, and countless friends and neighbors, through no-fault of their own, have pre-existing conditions,” Kaple said in the press release. “In Congress, I’ll fight passionately to make sure every American has access to affordable healthcare. I will not sit by and let Washington politicians take us back to the days of denying coverage to those who are sick and placing lifetime caps on people’s care. That’s wrong and people here know better.”

Handel won the 6th Congressional District seat earlier this year in a special election that drew national attention for strong competition from Democrat Jon Ossoff in the Republican-dominated area.

“My total focus right now is on the constituents of the 6th District and the issues that are important to them, such as passing tax reform,” said Handel in a written statement.

Ossoff, who last week declined to say whether he will run again, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Handel was elected to serve out the unexpired term of Tom Price, who briefly served as U.S. secretary of health and human services before resigning last month amid scandal over his use of charter and military planes for work travel. The office goes onto the ballot again in November 2018.

The 6th District includes parts of Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs as well as east Cobb and north Fulton counties.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.