GOP Rep Won’t Run for Re-Election After Narrowly Defeating Dem Challenger in 2018

Rob Woodall
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.) isn’t taking his chances at re-election in 2020 after just barely sliding through the November election with a W.

Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux lost the election by a minuscule 433 votes, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Now, Democrats are eyeing the Georgia seat as yet another spot in the South they can flip blue. Bourdeaux’s team confirmed to The Hill that she would run again in 2020.

“Doing what you love requires things of you,” Woodall told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “and having had that family transition made me start to think about those things that I have invested less in because I’ve been investing more here.”

Woodall told reporters that both political changes and personal ones, such as the recent death of his father, led to the decision.

He also expressed that it would be difficult to run in 2020 with the increased pressure of a national presidential election.

“There are going to be a lot of cooks in the kitchen in here,” he said, “and even as adamant as I am about the way I want to run the show, it would have been harder to keep control over a message as outside groups come in on both sides.”

But Woodall is confident his seat will remain red.

“There are going to be some keen competitors who are going to get in this race, and they’re going to campaign the dickens out of it,” Woodall said. “This is going to stay a Republican seat.”

But Georgia has become an increasingly viable battleground for Democrats. Democrat Stacey Abrams narrowly lost the governor’s race to Brian Kemp, but the controversial election elevated Abrams’ name nationally, even landing her the spot of giving the Democratic response to the State of the Union on Tuesday.

Abrams said she will run for office again and is rumored to be eyeing a Georgia Senate seat for 2020.

Georgia lost some of its most reliably Republican districts in 2018. Notably, Rep. Lucy McBath flipped Georgia’s 6th Congressional District that had been under GOP representation since 1979.

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