Bourdeaux confident she can flip 7th District as election approaches

Stacey Abrams (left) and Carolyn Bourdeaux (center) rallied Democrats in Norcross on Thursday.

Credit: Amanda C. Coyne

Credit: Amanda C. Coyne

Stacey Abrams (left) and Carolyn Bourdeaux (center) rallied Democrats in Norcross on Thursday.

Does Carolyn Bourdeaux think she'll win in Georgia's 7th Congressional District?

“Yes,” she said simply after a Thursday campaign stop.

The Suwanee Democrat is in the home stretch of the race against incumbent U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Lawrenceville.

Woodall has laid low throughout the campaign, holding few events and not airing a single television ad.

A group tied to former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg infused nearly $1 million in pro-Bourdeaux advertising into the race less than two weeks before election day, which Bourdeaux sites as another piece of evidence that she will knock off the four- term incumbent.

“I don’t think they would come in on a race that can’t be won,” Bourdeaux said of the Bloomberg-backed Independence USA PAC. Bloomberg governed New York City as both a Republican and independent, but recently changed his voter registration to the Democratic party and has backed mostly Democratic candidates.

Woodall has previously cited the level of Republican turnout in the May primaries, his record of constituent service  and a high level of name recognition as advantages leading him to feel comfortable going into Election Day.

He and other GOP candidates have been critical of their Democratic opponents taking in money from out-of-state donors.

READ | Bourdeaux says commitment to public service drives run for Congress

MORE | Woodall's campaign focuses on tax cuts, largely ignores opponent

Bourdeaux was joined by gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, lieutenant governor candidate Sarah Riggs Amico and other Democratic candidates at a get out the vote rally in Norcross on Thursday morning.

Abrams urged all who had not yet voted to take advantage of the remaining two days of early voting in Gwinnett County.

“I’m running against the voter suppression architect who doesn’t want your voices to be heard,” Abrams said, referencing her opponent, Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

Kemp has repeatedly pushed back on accusations that he has prevented some people from voting, often citing the online voter registration system that was made available during his tenure in the office. His office was recently sued over the "exact match" law that put more than 53,000 voter registrations on hold this year.

Shortly before the event was over, U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., surprised the crowd with a brief speech. Jeffries is spending two days campaigning for Democrats in Georgia; he was particularly impressed with Bourdeaux for turning the 7th District into a competitive race for Democrats.

“This is a late developing race that has emerged because of her authenticity, her tenacity and her story,” Jeffries said, comparing her to Rep. Stephanie Murphy in Florida. Murphy unseated 12-term U.S. Rep. John Mica in 2016, what many considered a surprise upset.

“The 7th Congressional District was not on the radar of most folks inside the Beltway [for 2018] ... Carolyn realized people wanted change. There was a representative that didn’t align with the values of the community, and they would welcome a chance for change.”

Republicans have criticized Democrats this election season for bringing in big name politicans and celebrities from outside Georgia on the campaign trail. During a stump speech for Kemp Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence chastised Abrams for having Oprah campaign for her.

“This ain’t Hollywood. This is Georgia,” Pence said.

Still, Peachtree Corners resident Joanna Daniel was looking forward to casting her first-ever ballot for Bourdeaux, Abrams and other Georgia Democrats. She immigrated from England to Georgia 28 years ago and became a citizen in 2017, gaining the right to vote.

“She’s just so sensible and down-to-earth,” Daniel said of Bourdeaux. “Her focus is on the right things. She doesn’t have all these hifalutin ideas. She has common sense.”

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