After narrow 2018 win, Rep. Rob Woodall R-GA to retire from Congress

After narrow 2018 win, Rep. Rob Woodall R-GA to retire from Congress 

Posted: 1:26 pm Thursday, February 7th, 2019

By Jamie Dupree

On the heels of a narrow re-election victory last November, and with the likelihood of a very strong challenge from Democrats in 2020, Rep. Rob Woodall (R-GA) announced Thursday that he would retire from Congress after his current term expires, after serving five terms in the U.S. House.

“I have realized over this past year of change—both in politics and in my family—that the time has come for me to pass the baton and move to the next chapter,” the 48 year old Woodall said in a statement issued by his campaign.

Woodall had quietly given indications of his decision since a recount confirmed his slim victory in 2018, raising little money in the aftermath of his close win over Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux.

Woodall is the third member of the House to announce retirement for the 2020 election cycle, as he said he wanted to do this early to allow others to run for his seat in Congress.

“I make this announcement as early as possible to ensure that quality conservative candidates have time to prepare for a vigorous campaign in 2020,” Woodall said.

The Lawrenceville Republican barely survived a 2018 election surge for Democrats in suburban areas around the nation, a shift which swept Rep. Karen Handel (R-GA) out, as Democrats picked up a net gain of 40 seats in the House, winning in areas once thought to be reliably Republican – in the GOP suburbs of Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Oklahoma City, Minneapolis, Denver, and in southern California.

As he entered the minority for the first time in his career in January, Woodall said he wasn’t sure that Republicans had fully digested the defeats they suffered in November of 2018.

“There are lessons that were learned about the November elections on the passion of the American people,” Woodall told me. “Sadly we have not yet agreed what that lesson was.”

The 48 year-old Woodall worked in Congress before being elected to the House, as he was a staffer for ex-Rep. John Linder (R-GA), who retired before the 2010 election.

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