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Rob Woodall Wins by 433 Votes in Georgia’s 7th District

Four-term congressman defeats Democrat Bourdeaux in once safe GOP seat

Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga., has won a fifth term representing Georgia’s 7th District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga., has won a fifth term representing Georgia’s 7th District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Georgia Republican Rep. Rob Woodall barely survived his re-election against Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux, prevailing in a recount two weeks after Election Day. 

Woodall led Bourdeaux by just 419 votes after the first count, which was a slim enough margin for the challenger to request a recount. The four-term congressman’s margin grew to 433 votes after Wednesday’s recount, and Bourdeaux conceded in the afternoon, shortly before The Associated Press called the race.

“We moved the needle in this district more than anyone thought possible,” Bourdeaux said in a statement after her concession. 

Woodall was significantly outraised and got a late start to his campaign, airing his first-ever TV ad the week before Election Day. Republicans fretted that he wasn’t taking his race seriously enough. He’d never faced a competitive contest before in a district that was reliably red at the congressional level up until now. 

But Democrats had identified the 7th District as a potential pickup opportunity giving the shifting demographics in suburban Atlanta. President Donald Trump carried the district by just 6 points in 2016. 

Bourdeaux, a Georgia State University professor, had raised $2.4 million to Woodall’s $1 million by Oct. 17, the end of the pre-general FEC reporting period. 

Woodall’s fellow Republican Karen Handel, who represents a neighboring Atlanta-area district, was not as fortunate this year, falling to Democrat Lucy McBath in the 6th District. It’s the first GOP-held seat Democrats have picked up in Georgia since 2004. 

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