There has been concern among Republicans about the House seats relinquished by 26 GOP incumbents. Whether they are seeking another office or simply retiring, those 26 incumbents have left seats, in more cases than not, vulnerable to Democratic capture.
One open seat that has caused considerable consternation for Georgia and national Republicans is in Georgia's 7th District (Forsyth-Gwinnett Counties), where Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga., is retiring after 10 years.
In 2018, Woodall and just about everyone else was stunned when he came within 433 votes of losing to Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux. With Woodall out and a 12-candidate GOP primary in play, Bourdeaux seemed a slam-dunk to put the 7th in Democratic hands this year.
But this attitude has changed completely since Rich McCormick — emergency room physician, onetime U.S. Marine Corps pilot, and father of 7 — captured the GOP nomination with 62% of the vote and thus eliminated the need for a runoff.
Since then, growing attention has been paid to the conservative Republican known as the "Dynamo Doctor" and wife Debra (also a physician and known in the area as "Doctor Debra").
While McCormick is a stalwart conservative on economic issues and a proud Christian, he also takes those views into communities in which they are rarely heard: Haitian churches, the Indian community, and in black neighborhoods of a district that is now roughly 20% black.
"I loved Jack Kemp!" McCormick told us, referring to the late New York congressman and 1996 Republican vice presidential nominee. "He taught us how important it was to embrace minorities and immigrants and never to write them off as voters."
Regarding President Donald Trump, McCormick said: "You may not like certain things about him, but are you going to ruin the country by voting against him over something he said? I tell people just consider the alternative."
His Democratic opponent suffered some recent embarrassment. According to Georgia State University records, Prof. Bourdeaux taught just two classes at GSU over the past four years. In 2016, the last year Bourdeaux was not on administrative leave to run for office, she taught one class, "PMAP 8111 – Public Service and Democracy." This class was held once a week for 2½ hours, the semester ran 16 weeks.
"So Prof. Bourdeaux's total in classroom time in 2016 was just 40 hours," McCormick campaign manager Al Chaul said. "GSU students and Georgia taxpayers paid Prof. Bourdeaux $134,204.40 in 2016."
Whether Rich McCormick, and his different style of conservative wins and breaks new ground for his party is likely to be a much-discussed political story of 2020.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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