The First House Retirement of 2019 Is Big

Rob Woodall said Thursday he won't run again in Georgia after being narrowly reelected.

Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga., joined at left by Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., responds to statements by Democrats on the House Rules Committee about political motivations as lawmakers work on the creation of a special select committee to investigate the attack on the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, that killed the ambassador and three other Americans, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, May 7, 2014. House Republicans on Wednesday moved toward an election-year special investigation of the deadly attack, brushing aside Democratic concerns over the panel's scope and composition. The Obama administration, meanwhile, accused Republicans of "political motivation" after they issued a fundraising email linked to the Benghazi probe.
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
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Kyle Trygstad
Feb. 8, 2019, 6:25 a.m.

Reps. Rob Bishop and Walter Jones announced last cycle they wouldn’t seek reelection in 2020, and, after he resigned last month, former Rep. Tom Marino’s seat will have an incumbent running for it by next November.

So Rep. Rob Woodall, who said Thursday this will be his last term, is really the first retirement of the new Congress. And it’s a big one.

The Georgia Republican, part of the vaunted 2010 class, had never won with less than 60 percent of the vote until last year, when he fell just short of the 51 percent President Trump garnered in the Atlanta-area 7th District and won by some 400 votes over Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux.

The seat, which takes in the vast majority of booming Gwinnett County and nearly half of Forsyth County northeast of the city, was already one of the top pickup opportunities for House Democrats. While open seats are generally riper targets, Republicans could benefit from Woodall’s exit if a strong candidate emerges.

The outgoing congressman ran his first TV ad ever days before the election and was outraised 2 to 1 by Bourdeaux, a former state Senate budget director who is running again.

-- Kyle Trygstad


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