Carolyn Bourdeaux
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 7th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2021
Preceded byRob Woodall
Personal details
Born (1970-06-03) June 3, 1970 (age 51)
Roanoke, Virginia, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Jeffrey Skodnick
ResidenceSuwanee, Georgia, U.S.
EducationYale University (BA)
University of Southern California (MPA)
Syracuse University (DPA)
WebsiteHouse website

Carolyn Jordan Bourdeaux (born June 3, 1970)[1][2][3] is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative from Georgia's 7th congressional district since 2021.[4] The district is based in Gwinnett County, an affluent suburban county northeast of Atlanta. A member of the Democratic Party, she was a professor at the Andrew Young School of Public Policy at Georgia State University from 2003 to 2021.

In 2018, Bourdeaux ran for Georgia's 7th congressional district, coming within 433 votes of defeating the incumbent Republican, Rob Woodall, in what was the closest congressional race in that cycle.[5][6] On February 7, 2019, Woodall announced he would retire at the end of his current term.[7] That same day, Bourdeaux announced her intentions to once again seek the seat.[8] She won her 2020 election, defeating Republican Rich McCormick.

Early life and education

Bourdeaux is from Roanoke, Virginia. She graduated from Yale University with a bachelor's degree in history and economics.[9] She earned a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California and a Doctor of Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in 2003.[10][11][12]

Early career

Bourdeaux worked as a political aide to Ron Wyden for four years, when he served in the United States House of Representatives and then in the United States Senate. In 2003, she became an associate professor at Georgia State University. From 2007 to 2010, she served as Director of Georgia's Senate Budget and Evaluation Office. Following her time there, she returned to the Andrew Young School and founded the Center for State and Local Finance.[11]

In 2021, Bourdeaux was selected to become a member of the US National Academy of Public Administration.[12][13]

U.S. House of Representatives



See also: 2018 United States House of Representatives elections in Georgia § District 7

In the 2018 elections, Bourdeaux ran for the United States House of Representatives in Georgia's 7th congressional district.[14] She faced a six-way primary for the Democratic Party nomination. She came in first place in the May primary and earned a spot in the July runoff.[15] She then won the primary runoff on July 24 and won the Democratic nomination.[16] She faced Republican Rob Woodall in the November 6 general election. Bourdeaux was endorsed by Barack Obama.[17]

The race was considered to be a sleeper race, but it received more attention later in the election as Bourdeaux continued to outraise Woodall and as Democrats picked up momentum nationwide.[18] In the third quarter of 2018, Bourdeaux outraised Woodall by a margin of more than 3-1, raising over $1 million.[19] On election night, the race was too close to call.[20] Just a few hours after it was filed on November 15, U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May denied an emergency motion to force Gwinnett County to count previously rejected absentee ballots in the razor-thin 7th congressional district race.[21] On November 21, following a recount, Bourdeaux conceded defeat.[22]


See also: 2020 United States House of Representatives elections in Georgia § District 7

On February 7, 2019, Bourdeaux announced that she would run again for the same seat in 2020.[23][24] She was endorsed by a number of Georgia politicians, including Congressman John Lewis.[25] Within the first week of her campaign, she announced raising over $100,000.[26] In the first quarter of 2019, she outraised all other congressional challengers in the country, with a total of over $350,000.[27]

Woodall did not seek reelection in 2020. Bourdeaux defeated Rich McCormick in the general election.[28] Aside from Deborah Ross and Kathy Manning in North Carolina, who won seats that were redrawn to become safely Democratic, Bourdeaux was the only Democratic House candidate in the country to flip a seat previously held by a Republican in the 2020 election.[29] She got a significant boost from Joe Biden, who carried Gwinnett County by over 18 points and carried the 7th with 52 percent of the vote.


Bourdeaux was sworn in on January 3, 2021. She is the first Democrat to represent this district since its creation in 1993 as the 4th district; it became the 11th in 1997 and has been the 7th since 2003. John Linder held the seat from its creation until handing it to his former chief of staff, Woodall, in 2011. As a measure of how Republican this district had historically been, she is the only Democrat since 1994 to garner as much as 40 percent of the vote in the district. She is also the first white Democrat to represent a district based in the Atlanta suburbs since Buddy Darden left office in 1995.

On August 12, 2021, Bourdeaux joined eight other House Democrats in signing a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying, "We will not consider voting for a budget resolution until the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passes the House and is signed into law." She said her support for the Democrats' $3.5 trillion budget resolution would be withheld if the timeline did not change for passage of the budget.[30] Bourdeaux ultimately voted for the $3.5 trillion budget.[31]

As of August 2021, Bourdeaux had voted in line with President Joe Biden's stated position 100% of the time.[32]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Personal life

Bourdeaux is married to Jeffrey Skodnik, a sales manager at LexisNexis.[36] They live in Suwanee, Georgia, and have one son.[11]

See also


  1. ^ Hallerman, Tamar; Journal-Constitution, The Atlanta. "The 7th Congressional District race: What you need to know". ajc.
  2. ^ "Carolyn Bourdeaux". Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  3. ^ Kassel, Matthew. "Carolyn Bourdeaux's hard-fought congressional battle pays off".
  4. ^ @AP_Politics (November 6, 2020). "BREAKING: Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux wins election to U.S. House in Georgia's 7th Congressional District" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  5. ^ Pathé, Simone; Pathé, Simone (November 21, 2018). "Rob Woodall Wins by 433 Votes in Georgia's 7th District". Roll Call. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  6. ^ "50 Interesting Facts About the 2018 Election". The Cook Political Report. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  7. ^ Hallerman, Tamar (February 7, 2019). "U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall will not seek re-election". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  8. ^ Hallerman, Tamar (February 7, 2019). "Carolyn Bourdeaux to seek 7th District seat after razor-thin loss". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  9. ^ Whitmire, Kelly (November 4, 2020). "Bourdeaux claims victory for District 7 race".
  10. ^ Friend, Lenore (July 13, 2021). "Into the Fray: Carolyn Bourdeaux G'03 Joins Congress Days Before Capitol Riot". SU News. Retrieved July 13, 2021.
  11. ^ a b c "Bourdeaux says commitment to public service drives run for Congress". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved November 6, 2020.
  12. ^ a b Bohlinger, Jewell (November 19, 2021). "Four Maxwell Alumni Named NAPA Fellows". The Maxwell School of Syracuse University. Retrieved November 20, 2021.
  13. ^ Holahan, Betsy (October 12, 2021). "National Academy of Public Administration Announces 2021 Class of Academy Fellows". National Academy of Public Administration. Retrieved November 20, 2021.
  14. ^ Hallerman, Tamar (July 5, 2017). "GSU professor jumps into expanding 7th District race with health care message". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  15. ^ "Georgia Primary Election Results: Seventh House District". The New York Times. May 29, 2018. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  16. ^ "Bourdeaux wins Georgia Dem runoff, in latest win by female candidates". TheHill. July 24, 2018. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  17. ^ "Obama makes endorsements in Atlanta-area congressional races". Associated Press. October 1, 2018.
  18. ^ Peterson, Kristina (October 16, 2018). "House Races Tighten as Midterm Elections Near". The Wall Street Journal.
  19. ^ Hallerman, Tamar (October 16, 2018). "Dem challengers show off massive fundraising tallies in Ga's top House races". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  20. ^ "Outcome still unclear in Gwinnett congressional race". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. November 7, 2018. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  21. ^ Tamar Hallerman Tyler Estep (November 15, 2018). "Georgia 7th: Judge denies Bourdeaux push for additional absentees". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved November 15, 2018.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  22. ^ Thomsen, Jacqualine (November 21, 2018). "Dem challenger concedes to incumbent Woodall in Georgia's 7th District". The Hill. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  23. ^ Hallerman, Tamar. "Carolyn Bourdeaux to seek 7th District seat after razor-thin loss". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  24. ^ Whitmire, Kelly (February 8, 2019). "Back again: Carolyn Bourdeaux to seek 7th District seat". Forsyth News. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  25. ^ "The Jolt: Gwinnett's MARTA vote and the search for a GOP champion". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. February 14, 2019. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  26. ^ Greenwood, Max (February 15, 2019). "Dem raises more than $100k since declaring bid for Georgia House seat". The Hill. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  27. ^ "Georgia candidates set early fundraising bar with millions from donors". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. April 16, 2019. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  28. ^ "Democrat Bourdeaux flips Georgia House seat". TheHill. Retrieved November 6, 2020.
  29. ^ "Georgia Rep.-elect Carolyn Bourdeaux, only Democrat to flip seat, says party should talk to Trump supporters". FoxNews. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
  30. ^ Mitchell, Tia (August 13, 2021). "Bourdeaux joins group threatening to derail Pelosi's two-track budget strategy". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved August 13, 2021.
  31. ^ Caygle, Heather (August 24, 2021). "House advances $3.5T budget, ending stalemate between Pelosi and centrists". POLITICO.
  32. ^ Bycoffe, Anna Wiederkehr and Aaron (April 22, 2021). "Does Your Member Of Congress Vote With Or Against Biden?". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved August 30, 2021.
  33. ^ "Blue Dog Coalition Welcomes Rep. Bourdeaux to its Ranks". Blue Dog Caucus. April 22, 2021.
  34. ^ "Members". New Democrat Coalition. Archived from the original on February 8, 2018. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  35. ^ "Featured Members". Problem Solvers Caucus. Retrieved March 28, 2021.
  36. ^ Kassel, Matthew (May 21, 2020). "Carolyn Bourdeaux tries again in Georgia congressional race". Jewish Insider. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
U.S. House of Representatives Preceded byRob Woodall Member of the U.S. House of Representativesfrom Georgia's 7th congressional district 2021–present Incumbent U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial) Preceded byLauren Boebert United States representatives by seniority 376th Succeeded byJamaal Bowman