After narrow victory in 2018, Rep. Rob Woodall won’t run in 2020

Woodall barely prevailed in Georgia 7th District recount last fall

Georgia Rep. Rob Woodall recently lost his father, which he said was a consideration in his decision not to run again. (By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Georgia Rep. Rob Woodall barely survived 2018, and he’s decided not to try again in 2020. 

The 7th District Republican told the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Thursday he will not seek a sixth term.  

He held on by just over 400 votes in a recount last fall, narrowly defeating Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux, who’s running again and was already planning to make a formal announcement on Tuesday.

Democrats identified this rapidly growing and diversifying Atlanta suburban area as an early target for 2020. President Donald Trump carried the district by 6 points in 2016.

Republicans criticized Woodall for not taking his race seriously last fall. He aired his first TV commercial the week before the election. 

Woodall recently lost his father, a factor that he said contributed to his decision to call it quits. 

“Doing what you love requires things of you, 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 the newspaper.

Woodall hadn't raised much money after his November scare, suggesting he wasn't gearing up for another bid. He ended 2018 with just $47,000 in the bank. 

With the 7th District race being so close last year, Bourdeaux won't be the only one interested in this race and will likely face a primary. State Reps. Sam Park and Brenda Lopez may be interested in the seat, the Journal Constitution reported. Bourdeaux ended the year with $142,000 in the bank. 

Woodall is one of the first members of the new GOP House minority to announce his retirement. Utah Rep. Rob Bishop said in 2017 that his 9th term would be his last.  North Carolina Rep. Walter Jones, who is in hospice, had already said he wouldn't run in 2020. Pennsylvania Rep. Tom Marino announced his resignation two weeks after the beginning of the 116th Congress. He left on Jan. 23 for a job in the private sector.  

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