A Republican candidate running to replace Rep. Rob Woodall, who has announced he will not seek re-election, for Georgia’s 7th Congressional seat has left the race to pursue a northwest Georgia Congressional campaign.
Ben Bullock, an air force veteran and real estate investor, announced this week he will no longer be seeking the seat and will instead run for the state’s 14th Congressional seat, which represents 12 counties in northwest Georgia and is currently represented by Rep. Tom Graves, who has announced he will not seek re-election.
“I can think of no greater honor than to potentially represent Northwest Georgia where my family has such deep roots,” Bullock said in a news release. “For over 200 years, my family has lived, served in both the military and elected office, farmed, and operated small businesses in the 14th congressional district. To continue that legacy is a dream come true, and moving in that direction is where I truly believe that God is leading this campaign team.”
Bullock has seen active duty at Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas, the Pentagon, an Afghanistan-Pakistan task force and most recently the U.S. Africa Command in Germany, he said in a video announcing his campaign. Bullock believes his military background will be valuable in Congress to helping find “a reasonable immigration solution, as well as fighting international conflicts,” he said.
He is the fourth candidate to announce his exit from the race, following Republicans Joe Profit and Floyd Harrison and Democrat Marqus Cole have ended their campaigns.
The District 7 race has been a big target for both Republicans and Democrats and was hotly contested in 2018 when Woodall beat Democratic challenger Carolyn Bourdeaux by about 400 votes after more than 280,000 ballots were cast.
Even with three candidates leaving the race, there are a number of Republicans still running for the seat, including longtime state Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford), physician Rich McCormick, former Home Depot executive Lynne Homrich, businessman Mark Gonsalves, co-founder of the Conservative Diversity Alliance Jacqueline Tseng, former education executive Lerah Lee, former college professor Lisa Noel Babbage and businessman Eugene Yu.
The Democrats also have a packed field, with Bourdeaux running again in 2020, along with other Democratic hopefuls in District 99 state Rep. Brenda Lopez Romero, activist Nabilah Islam, former Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves, District 48 state Sen. Zahra Karinshak and Rashid Malik, who ran for the seat in 2016.
Before the two parties face off in November, candidates will have to make it through their respective primaries, which will be held on Tuesday, May, 19.