U.S. Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux, D-Ga., said on Monday that she does not foresee a chance that she will back out of a race against fellow congresswoman and Democrat, U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, to keep her 7th Congressional District seat next year.
McBath, who currently represents the 6th Congressional District, announced last week that she will run for Bourdeaux’s seat in 2022 after Republicans in the Georgia General Assembly redrew the lines of her own district to be more solidly Republican. That is setting up a battle royal of sorts against two women that Democrats invested heavily in not only getting elected to Congress, but also — in McBath’s case — keeping them in office.
State Rep. Donna McLeod, D-Lawrenceville, has also announced that she will be running for the seat.
“This is an area where I have run five separate races,” Bourdeaux said. “I’m very invested in this community. It’s one I love. It’s one where I have a lot of the mayors and the county commissioners on my cell phone. We talk all the time and I want to continue to serve.”
Bourdeaux’s comments as the proposed congressional and legislative maps that the General Assembly drew during a special session await Gov. Brian Kemp’s signature.
The maps are expected to draw legal challenges once Kemp signs them into law. Attorney Marc Elias, who represented the Democratic Party in election lawsuits last year and this year, named Georgia at the top of his list of states where new voting rights or redistricting lawsuits could be expected in a Twitter post on Monday.
Elias’ tweet was quickly retweeted by U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams, who is also the chairwoman of the Georgia Democratic Party.
“As a Black woman in Georgia, I fully understand that litigation is often necessary to make sure that everyone has a voice in our democracy. Georgians deserve #FairMaps,” Williams said.
Bourdeaux did criticize the congressional districts map that the General Assembly passed last week. She said she expects “a number of legal challenges” to the maps adopted by the General Assembly.
The new map made her district safer for Democrats, and more Gwinnett-centric, but she was drawn out of the district and the neighboring 6th Congressional District was heavily redrawn in an attempt to force McBath out of office. The 6th District now stretches from east Cobb County and north Fulton County to Dawson County, and also includes the Sugar Hill area.
Meanwhile, the 9th congressional District, which had previously not been in Gwinnett at all, was pushed deep into the county, going as far south as the northern side of State Route 316 in the Lawrenceville area. Technically, Bourdeaux lives in what is now part of the new 9th District, although members of Congress are not required to live in the district they represent.
The new 7th Congressional District now includes central and southern Gwinnett, as well as Johns Creek in Fulton County.
“The redistricting is very disappointing,” Bourdeaux said. “By all rights, the state should be seven Democrats and seven Republicans. It’s a 50-50 state.
“And, so what they clearly did is gerrymander — the Republican leadership did — to advantage themselves.”