Bourdeaux, a college professor, beat Republican emergency room physician Rich McCormick in Georgia’s 7th Congressional District. Bourdeaux had come close to winning the seat in 2018 against GOP Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga. But she secured her victory two years later after Woodall didn’t seek re-election and McCormick, a first-time candidate and Marine Corps veteran, became the Republican nominee.
“Three years ago, I stepped up to take on a four-term incumbent,” Bourdeaux tweeted. “They said this district could never be won by a Democrat, but we knew better. Together, we put this race on the map. Today, we finished the job.”
It’s the first time a Democrat has won the seat since Buddy Darden lost to Republican Bob Barr in the 1994 GOP takeover of the U.S. House, and reflects the rapidly diversifying population of the district.
The margin of Bourdeaux’s victory was 51% to 49%.
News of the win was a bright spot for Democrats after a tough week. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Cheri Bustos, head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, had gone into Election Day saying they would expand their majority in the House by flipping red districts President Trump carried four years ago.
Instead, their projections and polling turned out wrong, and Republicans won back a handful of swing seats that Democrats took in 2018.
As of 4 p.m. ET Friday, Democrats had won 212 seats and Republicans had secured 194 seats. Democrats had a net loss of four seats. There are 29 races that have not yet been called and Republicans are optimistic about more pick-up opportunities and predict their numbers could swell to 208 seats and beyond.
The DCCC invested more than $4.6 million to help flip the Georiga seat from red to blue and cheered the result Friday.
“Carolyn Bourdeaux is a policy expert, working mom and advocate for Georgians, and I’m proud of the part the DCCC played in bringing her to Congress as the first woman to ever represent Georgia’s 7th Congressional District and the first Democrat to win this seat in 26 years,” Bustos said in a statement.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.