U.S. Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux, D-Ga., will have to face one of her colleagues in the Democratic Party’s primary next year if she wants to keep her seat in Congress.

U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Ga., announced on Monday that she will run for the newly redrawn 7th congressional District — putting her at odds with Bourdeaux, who is also moving ahead with running for re-election to the seat. McBath currently represents the neighboring 6th Congressional District, but that district was redrawn to be heavily Republican, making McBath’s chances of getting re-elected to that seat unlikely.

“Brian Kemp, the Republican Party and the NRA will not have the final say on when my work in Congress on behalf of my son is done,” McBath said. “Black women are often told to stand down and step aside. Those are two things I simply will not do.

“So, I am running in the newly created Democratic district. For my son and all those lost too soon.”

What McBath’s decision to run in the 7th District means is that the district, which is now primary made up of central and southern Gwinnett as well as Johns Creek, will be the epicenter of a big battle between two congresswomen that Democrats have worked hard since 2018 to put in office.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee alone put a lot of effort and energy into getting both women elected. Now, the DCCC has to choose sides in a primary battle between the women.

Bourdeaux responded to McBath’s announcement without naming her colleague specifically, but pointing to the fact that she is already working on issues facing Gwinnett and is more familiar with its needs.

Bourdeaux’s office pointed out that the new 7th Congressional District contains 60% of the congresswoman’s current constituents. Bourdeaux also pointed out that, between primaries and general elections in 2018 and 2020, she has run to represent Gwinnettians five times.

“Georgia’s 7th district deserves a representative that understands their issues,” Bourdeaux said. “I am the Gwinnett representative in the race for a predominantly Gwinnett district.

“The people of the 7th deserve a representative that understands and cares about their needs and has a record of fighting for them in Washington. It’s my hard-fought honor to serve the people of Gwinnett and GA’s 7th district, and I look forward to continuing to do so.”

Bourdeaux was expected to likely face a challenge within the progressive wing of the Democratic party if the 7th district was drawn to be solidly blue. Talk of possibly facing McBath had existed earlier in the year, but under the guise that the congressional district lines could be redrawn to create a solidly Democratic district that both women lived in.

That talk had faded, but after Republican-drawn proposed congressional redistricting maps were unveiled in the Georgia General Assembly last week, new talk arose that McBath would run for the 7th District instead of seeking the 6th District.

Now that McBath is running against Bourdeaux, it will likely ward off runs by other, lesser known Democrats seeking to run on a progressive platform.

Representatives are not required to live in the district they represent, so McBath — who lives in Marietta — and Bourdeaux — who lives in Suwanee — technically do not need to live in central or southern Gwinnett, or Johns Creek, in order to run for the district that represents those areas.

In fact, neither of them live in the new 7th District, which now includes most of Lawrenceville, Duluth, Berkeley Lake, Norcross, Peachtree Corners, Lilburn, Snellville, Grayson, Dacula and Johns Creek. That district is drawn to heavily favor whoever the Democratic nominee for the seat is, however.

The lines were drawn so that northern Gwinnett — including Bourdeaux’s home in Suwanee as well as Buford Rest Haven and Braselton, and down to Georgia Gwinnett College on the northern side of State Highway 316 — are now in the 9th Congressional District.

Meanwhile, Sugar Hill was added to the new 6th District that also includes Forsyth and Dawson counties as well as northeast Cobb and eastern Cherokee counties and most of north Fulton County.

Still, despite the way the lines were drawn, Bourdeaux is planning to run on a platform highlighting what she done for Gwinnett in her first year in office.

“Georgia’s 7th Congressional District is the Gwinnett County District and my home,” she said. “I’ve run five elections here, and I have deep connections with the diverse communities in our district.

“Local leaders have my cell phone number, and I have worked with them to expand Medicaid, lower healthcare costs, create universal pre-K and address our unique transit needs. I have also fought to secure emergency SBA loans for our small businesses and establish vaccination clinics, food drives, and jobs fairs. I am deeply vested in the vision of Gwinnett, which is a truly diverse community representing people and cultures from around our country and the world.”

Meanwhile, the 4th and 10th congressional districts were pushed out of Gwinnett County all together as part of redistricting.

I'm a Crawford Long baby who grew up in Marietta and eventually wandered to the University of Southern Mississippi for college. Earned a BA in journalism (double minor in political science and history). Previously worked in Florida and Clayton County.

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