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Field narrows for U.S. House District 7
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Forsyth County News

As with several races in the region, two Republican candidates in the District 7 U.S. House race will meet again in a runoff election next month.

Rob Woodall and Jody Hice will vie for the seat, currently held by John Linder, who is not seeking re-election.

The winner will face Democrat Doug Heckman of Norcross in the Nov. 2 general election.

The 7th District includes parts of south Forsyth and Gwinnett, Barrow, Newton and Walton counties.

Forsyth’s votes fell in line with state results, with Woodall coming in first, followed by Hice.

Woodall tallied 957 votes, or 46 percent, to Hice's 403 votes, or 19 percent.

Clay Cox received 356 votes, or 17 percent, for third place.

Woodall, who has served as Linder’s chief of staff for more than a decade, got nearly 36 percent of the district vote.

Having done no prior polling, Woodall said Tuesday’s election was "the first poll that we had seen on whether or not our message was an efficient message and I was just tremendously gratified by that.”

Hice, a former pastor who garnered about 26 percent of the district vote, said he has mixed feelings about the results, noting it was "a little bit of a surprise” that Cox was not in the runoff.

But regardless of his competition, Hice was "thrilled to death with where we are."

“We’re excited with the way it’s come out,” he said. “We’re glad to be in this and looking forward to being in the runoff.”

Hice was in Lawrenceville with family and friends when he heard the news. His campaign now must shift gears.

“We’ve been focused on this election right now, so we’ll be getting our plan in place over the next couple of days,” he said.

Woodall also figured the race would be heading to a runoff, but his campaign hadn't looked beyond the primary.

With Aug. 10 just a few weeks off, Woodall said he is happy for Hice’s success and looks forward to the one-on-one challenge.

“We had a big turnout [Tuesday] by midterm primary standards and we’re going to go after those people, those 76,000 people who cared enough to come out to begin with,” he said.