Bourdeaux also leaves Congress after losing a primary, this one against fellow Democratic U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, who decided to challenge Bourdeaux in Georgia’s 7th Congressional District. Republicans had redrawn McBath’s 6th District in a way that made it unlikely a Democrat would win.
Two years earlier, Bourdeaux was the only Democrat to flip a Republican-held House seat when she won her first term in office after just narrowly losing to GOP incumbent Rob Woodall in 2018. Woodall decided not to seek another term in 2020, noting the changing demographics of the district that included most of Gwinnett County and part of Forsyth County.
Bourdeaux now steps away after a single term in office in that metro Atlanta district, but one where she cultivated a reputation as a moderate Democrat who was willing to buck the party line on fiscal issues. Earlier in her career, Bourdeaux had been praised for her bipartisan acumen as the budget office director for the Republican-led Georgia Senate.
Days before Christmas, Bourdeaux delivered her final floor speech. She started off by recounting one of her first days in office: Jan. 6, 2021. Bourdeaux said she, her sister and a couple of staffers were holed up in her office for hours as a mob attacked the U.S. Capitol. Once Congress was given the all-clear, she remembers a conversation with a top Democrat as they returned to certify Joe Biden’s presidential victory.
“Majority Leader Steny Hoyer turned to me and said, ‘I bet this wasn’t what you expected when you ran for Congress,’ ” she said. “And I told him that, actually, I ran for Congress precisely so that I could be standing at this place at this time to take this vote to certify the election and to defend our democracy.”