If she is officially the winner, Bourdeaux will be the first Democrat to represent the once solidly Republican district since U.S. Rep. Buddy Darden, who lost the seat in 1994. Before 2018, incumbent Woodall had won each election by 20 points or more. He announced he would not run for re-election in 2020 shortly after his narrow 2018 win. Bourdeaux would also be the first woman to represent the district.
As of 9 a.m., Bourdeaux had 51.15% of all votes counted, a lead of 8,305 votes. Forsyth County, the southern tip of which is in the 7th District, has fully reported its results. Gwinnett County, the bulk of which is contained in the 7th, has not. Gwinnett election officials paused their count shortly before 2 a.m. Wednesday with 4,400 absentee ballots and 500 provisional ballots left to count.
Gwinnett County also has to recount four days worth of early voting ballots from one early voting precinct scanner that had a corrupt card, and adjudicate 3,200 batches of absentee ballots in which at least one ballot in each batch is unreadable. That is likely between 80,000 and 160,000, according to the elections office.
Bourdeaux’s confidence is due in part to the heavy Democratic tilt in Gwinnett. As of 9 a.m., Bourdeaux was ahead of McCormick by 13.06 percentage points – 35,934 votes – in Gwinnett, compared to a 2.3% lead over McCormick in the district overall.
Bourdeaux declared victory around 2 a.m. Wednesday. After the polls closed Tuesday evening, she wouldn’t say whether she expected to know her fate sooner rather than later.
“We in Georgia are used to waiting,” she said. “We know how to be patient.”