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Rob Woodall's re-election bid in 7th District still at risk
Rep. Rob Woodall
Rep. Rob Woodall spoke during the Forsyth County Republican Party’s most recent annual Independence Day grill out event. - photo by Alexander Popp

U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall’s tight race with Democrat challenger Carolyn Bourdeaux was still considered too close to call Wednesday after the midterm election.

With 100 percent of precincts reported, Woodall had 50.16 percent of the vote, or 139,804 votes, while Bourdeaux had 49.84 percent, or 138,914 votes, but campaigns said absentee ballots were still being counted Wednesday morning.

The 0.32 percent margin between the two is well within the 1 percent threshold that would allow the runner-up to be granted a recount once the final results are certified.

On Wednesday, Woodall said Bourdeaux was “absolutely” in the margin to ask for a recount but didn’t feel it would have a significant impact on the race.

“As folks who have gone through that process know, unless you’re really counting down in the dozens of votes, it’s unusual for a recount to move a needle more than one or two digits,” Woodall said. “We’re going to let the provisional ballots come in, [and] that we’ll keep our three-digit lead across the finish line.”

Woodall has represented the 7th District that contains the majority of Forsyth and Gwinnett counties since 2011.

In Forsyth County, Woodall earned about 68 percent of the vote, or 44,887 votes.

“Every candidate in the state looks to Forsyth for leadership,” he said. “If you’re a conservative candidate, you know your success is closely hinged to what Forsyth voters do. Yesterday, we ended with about a 2:1 advantage in Forsyth, but  that’s actually lower than what we’ve seen historically.”

Woodall said the change doesn't mean more conservative voters are changing parties but instead shows the changing demographics moving into the county. 

Earlier this year, Woodall defeated Republican challenger Shane Hazel is a primary for the seat. Woodall finished with 71.93 percent of 42,259 total votes to Hazel’s 28.07 percent. Woodall carried Forsyth County, too, with 68.48 percent of the 17,767 local votes.

He is a member of the House of Representatives’ rules, budget and transportation and infrastructure committees. He said getting the recent tax bill passed is among his accomplishments.

Previously, Woodall said if re-elected he plans to continue working on regulatory reform, changes to the tax code, updates to international trade and building trust with other members of Congress to pass legislation.

Woodall is a graduate of the law school of the University of Georgia and Furman University. He formerly served as chief of staff of former Congressman John Linder.

In his campaign, Woodall favored making education more accessible, cutting red tape for business and Fair Tax legislation.

Bourdeaux teaches at Georgia State University and was previously of the Georgia Senate Budget and Evaluation Office and as chair of National Association for Budgeting and Financial Management.

"Our race is still too close to call, & our fight isn't over yet," Bourdeaux posted on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon. "My entire team is working overtime to make sure that every voter's voice is heard & their vote is counted. Thank you for your continued support."

On Thursday, Bourdeaux's communication's director, Jake Best, said there were still thousands of provisional ballots yet to be counted in the district, the majority in Gwinnett. 

He recommended Forsyth County voters who voted with procisional ballots and did not have their IDs when they voted or has a signature mismatch should contact the Forsyth County Department of Voter Registrations and Elections at 770-781-2118.

“This race is as close as it’s ever been,” Best said. “Everyone in the 7th district deserves to have their voice heard. We are committed to ensuring that every vote cast in this election is counted, and we will be working hard over the next few days to make that happen.” 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.