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Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux wins primary for open seat in Georgia suburbs

College professor will face doctor who praised Trump response to COVID-19

Public policy professor Carolyn Boudreaux, who came within 1 point of defeating Rep. Rob Woodall in 2018, won the Democratic nomination to run again for the seat in Georgia's 7th District.
Public policy professor Carolyn Boudreaux, who came within 1 point of defeating Rep. Rob Woodall in 2018, won the Democratic nomination to run again for the seat in Georgia's 7th District. (WilliamMoree.com)

Public policy professor Carolyn Bourdeaux was declared the outright winner Tuesday of a crowded Democratic primary in suburban Atlanta, as absentee ballots continued to be counted a week after the chaotic June 9 elections.

Bourdeaux had 52.7 percent of the vote in Georgia’s 7th District in tallies posted Tuesday afternoon, when The Associated Press called the race. Candidates in Georgia primaries need to exceed 50 percent of the vote to win a nomination or they face a runoff with the second-place finisher. Bourdeaux was below that level last week, when the AP said she would face a runoff with Rep. Brenda Lopez Romero, who had 12.4 percent. Progressive activist Nabilah Islam was a close third in the six-candidate field, with 12.3 percent.

Bourdeaux was the 2018 Democratic nominee and unexpectedly came within 1 percentage point of beating GOP Rep. Rob Woodall. Woodall was one of the first House members to announce his retirement this cycle.

She will face GOP Nominee Rich McCormick in November. McCormick won his primary Tuesday with 55 percent of the vote. His campaign was boosted by a Trump endorsement and outside group spending after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, when McCormick started tweeting videos bolstering Trump’s response.

Bourdeaux declared victory Monday, citing unprecedented turnout among Democratic voters in the district, a longtime Republican stronghold that demographic changes have put in play.

“My priorities couldn’t be more different from my opponent, Rich McCormick, whose position in this race was bought by Washington special interests and who pushes an extreme and reckless agenda that would dismantle our health care system,” she said in a press release.

Bourdeaux starts with a cash advantage over McCormick in a race that is sure to attract national interest as Democrats seek to make Georgia a presidential battleground state. Bourdeaux had $645,0000 in the bank as of May 20, compared with McCormick’s $209,000. The 7th is one of two competitive districts in the Atlanta suburbs. Both of the state’s Senate seats are also on the ballot in November.

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