Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 2010, 3rd term.

Born: February 11, 1970, Athens

Home: Lawrenceville

Education: Furman U., B.A. 1992; U. of GA, J.D. 1997.

Professional Career: Law clerk, private firm, 1993-94; chief of staff, legis. aide, Rep. John Linder, R-Ga., 1994-2010.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Methodist

Family: Single

Republican Rob Woodall was elected in 2010 to succeed the retiring Rep. John Linder after working for Linder as an aide for 16 years. His Capitol Hill experience makes him less inclined to bash government than his colleagues in the GOP Class of 2010, but he matches them in his avid fiscal conservatism.

Woodall was born in Athens, the college town where his parents were finishing their studies at the University of Georgia. The family later moved to Avondale Estates. His father was an entomologist who would take Rob and his older sister on expeditions to collect bugs in swampy areas. The family was of modest means, shopped at Goodwill stores, and drove used cars. “Nobody squeezes a nickel harder than I do,” Woodall said. He went to college on a ROTC scholarship and worked summers to pay his expenses, including a stint on the assembly line at an RC Cola bottling plant. While in law school, he clerked for a firm in Washington, where he worked on issues related to President Clinton’s energy policy and then first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton’s health care initiative. He fell in love with being on the frontlines of national policymaking and worked out a deal with the dean of the University of Georgia School of Law to allow him to finish his degree in Washington. In 1994, Woodall left his job at the law firm and took a 50% pay cut to go to work as a legislative aide for Linder. He rose to chief of staff in 2000.

He became a candidate for the House after 18-year House veteran Linder announced his retirement in February 2010. Eight candidates entered the GOP primary in July. Woodall and radio talk-show host Jody Hice received the most votes, but neither attained the 50% threshold necessary to avoid a runoff.

In the runoff campaign, Hice was able to self-fund his campaign and had more money to spend than Woodall. Both candidates courted support from tea party groups. Woodall embraced the movement’s principles of limited government, strict constitutional constructionism, and fiscal responsibility. He also advocated shifting some of the federal government’s powers to the states, repealing the Democratic health care overhaul, and creating tougher measures to deal with immigration. Yet, most local tea party groups backed Hice, especially after he bought billboards sporting a Soviet-era hammer and sickle and depicting Obama as a socialist. Woodall was endorsed by Linder and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. He won the August runoff election, 56% to 44%. In the general election, he had little trouble dispatching his Democratic opponent, financial services manager Doug Heckman, 67% to 33%.

Like Linder, Woodall’s main issue is the current tax code, which he calls “a monstrosity” that should be replaced with a national sales tax. Woodall contributed to the book that Linder and Neal Boortz published called The FairTax Book, which was a best seller in 2005. Woodall says that the tax code punishes productivity and encourages debt, and that a national sales tax would boost the rate of personal savings. A Fair Tax bill he introduced in 2011 drew 70 cosponsors but did not advance; he reintroduced it in January 2013.

In the House, Woodall was given seats on the Rules and Budget committees in recognition of his familiarity with those panels’ issues as an ex-staffer. He joined most other GOP freshmen in opposing the New Year’s Day 2013 deal on tax and spending cuts, aimed at averting the so-called fiscal cliff, calling it “all dessert and no vegetables. … Spending is the problem in Washington, not tax revenue.”

But Woodall also showed signs of independence. He displayed a willingness to tackle the typically Democratic issue of campaign finance reform, introducing a bill in August 2011 to bar incumbents from holding onto their campaign money between elections. He said politicians’ war chests discouraged many would-be challengers. And in 2011, he was one of just seven Republicans who refused to bar federal funding for National Public Radio and one of seven who opposed a measure allowing permit holders to carry concealed weapons across state lines. “If the Second Amendment protects my rights to carry my concealed weapon from state to state to state, I don’t need another federal law,” he said.

Woodall became chairman of the Republican Study Committee's budget and spending task force. When Louisiana's Steve Scalise became majority whip in the aftermath of Eric Cantor's sudden primary defeat, Woodall was appointed the interim chairman. But some members objected purely on procedural grounds and demanded that a vote be held, and he was unanimously elected in July. Woodall accepted the job with the understanding that he wouldn't seek a full two-year chairmanship in the next Congress. He sought to take over the chairmanship of the Republican Policy Committee, but lost to Indiana's Luke Messer.

Woodall’s vote in 2011 to raise the federal debt limit during one of the Republican’s many budget battles with the Obama White House sparked a GOP primary challenge in 2012 from software engineer David Hancock, a tea party movement supporter. Woodall won easily with 72% of the vote, then beat Democratic attorney Steve Reilly in the fall with 62%.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-4272

(202) 225-4696

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1724
Washington, DC 20515-1007

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-4272

(202) 225-4696

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1724
Washington, DC 20515-1007

DISTRICT OFFICE

(770) 232-3005

(770) 232-2909

75 Langley Drive
Lawrenceville, GA 30046-6935

DISTRICT OFFICE

(770) 232-3005

(770) 232-2909

75 Langley Drive
Lawrenceville, GA 30046-6935

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(770) 963-2420

PO Box 1871
Lawrenceville, GA 30046-1871

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

PO Box 1871
Lawrenceville, GA 30046-1871

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Alex Poirot
Senior Policy Advisor

Acquisitions

Tripp Cofield
Legislative Assistant

Aerospace

Alex Poirot
Senior Policy Advisor

Tom Beyer
Legislative Assistant

tom.beyer@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4272

Agriculture

Tom Beyer
Legislative Assistant

tom.beyer@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4272

Appropriations

Tripp Cofield
Legislative Assistant

Banking

Tripp Cofield
Legislative Assistant

Budget

Tripp Cofield
Legislative Assistant

Campaign

Derick Corbett
Chief of Staff

Commerce

Tripp Cofield
Legislative Assistant

Consumers

Tripp Cofield
Legislative Assistant

Crime

Alex Poirot
Senior Policy Advisor

Education

Tripp Cofield
Legislative Assistant

Energy

Alex Poirot
Senior Policy Advisor

Environment

Alex Poirot
Senior Policy Advisor

Tom Beyer
Legislative Assistant

tom.beyer@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4272

Family

Alex Poirot
Senior Policy Advisor

Finance

Tripp Cofield
Legislative Assistant

Foreign

Tom Beyer
Legislative Assistant

tom.beyer@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4272

Govt Ops

Alex Poirot
Senior Policy Advisor

Gun Issues

Alex Poirot
Senior Policy Advisor

Health

Janet Rossi
Legislative Director

Judy Swanner
Constituent Services Representative

Homeland Security

Tom Beyer
Legislative Assistant

tom.beyer@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4272

Housing

Tripp Cofield
Legislative Assistant

Judy Swanner
Constituent Services Representative

Human Rights

Alex Poirot
Senior Policy Advisor

Immigration

Alex Poirot
Senior Policy Advisor

Naomi Pillsbury
Constituent Services Representative

Internet

Tripp Cofield
Legislative Assistant

Judiciary

Alex Poirot
Senior Policy Advisor

Labor

Tripp Cofield
Legislative Assistant

Lobbying Politics

Janet Rossi
Legislative Director

Medicare

Janet Rossi
Legislative Director

Military

Debra Poirot
District Director; Constituent Services Director

Tom Beyer
Legislative Assistant

tom.beyer@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4272

Minorities

Janet Rossi
Legislative Director

Native Americans

Alex Poirot
Senior Policy Advisor

Privacy

Alex Poirot
Senior Policy Advisor

Public Works

Alex Poirot
Senior Policy Advisor

Recreation

Alex Poirot
Senior Policy Advisor

Rules

Janet Rossi
Legislative Director

Alex Poirot
Senior Policy Advisor

Tripp Cofield
Legislative Assistant

Science

Alex Poirot
Senior Policy Advisor

Tom Beyer
Legislative Assistant

tom.beyer@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4272

Small Business

Tripp Cofield
Legislative Assistant

Social Security

Janet Rossi
Legislative Director

Judy Swanner
Constituent Services Representative

Tax

Tripp Cofield
Legislative Assistant

Technology

Alex Poirot
Senior Policy Advisor

Tom Beyer
Legislative Assistant

tom.beyer@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4272

Telecommunications

Tripp Cofield
Legislative Assistant

Trade

Tripp Cofield
Legislative Assistant

Transportation

Alex Poirot
Senior Policy Advisor

Veterans

Elena Gabrysh
Constituent Services Representative

Tom Beyer
Legislative Assistant

tom.beyer@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-4272

Welfare

Janet Rossi
Legislative Director

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Rob Woodall
Votes: 156,689
Percent: 62.16%
Steve Reilly
Votes: 95,377
Percent: 37.84%
2012 PRIMARY
Rob Woodall
Votes: 45,157
Percent: 71.81%
David Hancock
Votes: 17,730
Percent: 28.19%
2010 GENERAL
Rob Woodall
Votes: 160,898
Percent: 67.07%
Doug Heckman
Votes: 78,996
Percent: 32.93%
2010 RUNOFF
Rob Woodall
Votes: 39,987
Percent: 55.99%
Jody Hice
Votes: 31,426
Percent: 44.01%
2010 PRIMARY
Rob Woodall
Votes: 27,634
Percent: 36.29%
Jody Hice
Votes: 20,034
Percent: 26.31%
Clay Cox
Votes: 15,249
Percent: 20.03%
Jef Fincher
Votes: 4,608
Percent: 6.05%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (67%)

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