The “blue wave” is continuing to grow. Just months after he barely survived the Democratic surge in the midterm elections, Georgia Republican Congressman Rob Woodall has announced he will not be seeking re-election in 2020 after having served since 2011. He beat his Democratic opponent Carolyn Bourdeaux by less than 500 votes after a recount — and Bourdeaux has indicated she’s keen on running again now that Woodall is stepping aside entirely.
He explained his decision as stemming from a reassessment of his own personal priorities, both as an individual and public face of the Republican Party. Besides the changing local — and national — political scenes, Woodall’s father passed away this past year.
He explained to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
‘Doing what you love requires things of you, and having had that family transition made me start to think about those things that I have invested less in because I’ve been investing more here.’
He serves as a senior member of the House Rules Committee, where he’s made a mark for his dealings with the federal budget — an ironic hallmark, considering the ongoing political fight in D.C. over future government funding. President Donald Trump has refused to approve long-term funding without billions of dollars for a border wall that will only divert attention and resources away from the humanitarian issue driving asylum seekers.
Woodall didn’t apparently mention this tumult as part of his reasoning for stepping aside — although he did point to the increasingly polarized political environment he’s in for another reason.
He explained that he’d prefer to step aside rather than become a pawn in a heated nationally-driven Congressional campaign, commenting to the Journal-Constitution:
‘There are going to be a lot of cooks in the kitchen in here, and even as adamant as I am about the way I want to run the show, it would have been harder to keep control over a message as outside groups come in on both sides.’
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has already established his district as one of their prime 2020 targets considering demographic changes and the electoral evidence of a shift via Woodall’s tiny winning margin in 2018.
His race ended up the closest Congressional race in the country and attracted wide attention for questions over absentee ballots that authorities sought to cast aside but were not convincingly invalid. A federal judge eventually ordered hundreds such questionable ballots counted despite the voters’ errors in listing their birthdate.
Although during the campaign, Woodall resisted resorting to attack ads against Bourdeaux, he did criticize the efforts to get as many ballots counted as possible, asserting that:
‘If federal judges rather than bipartisan election boards become the arbiter of local elections, all in our community will be the lesser for it.’
Across the nation, the GOP certainly continues to move in an ever-more contentious direction as the next elections get closer. It’s not as though the party has abandoned Donald Trump despite his baseless claims about economic, criminal, and even terrorist threats at the southern border.
There are already half a dozen declared Democratic presidential contenders for 2020 with plenty more on the horizon.
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot