A race that began with a friendly tone ended in the same fashion Tuesday as Democrat Steve Reilly conceded the District 7 U.S. House race to the Republican incumbent.
“I’ve already called Rob Woodall and left him a message congratulating him on his win,” Reilly said. “We fought the good fight, ran an honorable campaign and I just regret that the outcome wasn’t more favorable.”
Woodall received nearly 62.5 percent of the total, or more than 127,400 votes, to Reilly’s more than 37.5 percent, or 76,500 votes, between Forsyth and Gwinnett counties.
The district spans the lower half of Forsyth County, from Cumming south, and a large portion of Gwinnett.
The northern half of Forsyth is in District 9, which covers much of northeast Georgia.
Woodall fared even better in Forsyth, garnering nearly 81 percent, or about 45,100 votes, to Reilly’s 19 percent, or nearly 10,900 votes.
Woodall said he and Reilly, who are both attorneys from Gwinnett County, had a “good race that was based on ideas as every race should be.”
“If you love this country, you want the very best of every candidate on the ballot so that the voters have the very best that they can choose from,” he said. “I appreciate Steve’s willingness to put his values and himself out there.
“We must always have people who are willing to put themselves in an election and I very much enjoy the discussions and the debates we’ve had along the way.”
Woodall said he looks forward to continuing to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, which following nationwide results appears will maintain a Republican majority.
“There’s no question that as the 7th District representative, I have more influence in a Republican-led house,” Woodall said. “Those are the values we have here in the 7th District and now we have leadership in the House that will reflect those values."
While Reilly fell short, he predicts a shift in the district’s population moving forward.
“In terms of long-term prospects, it’s trending more favorably toward Democrats,” Reilly said. “With the shifting population in the state and the 7th District, you’re going to see Democratic performances increase significantly over the next two to three election cycles.”