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Spotlight on physician candidates: Drs. McCormick and Webb

Of the 23 physician and dentist candidates running for Congress this cycle, six have won their primary races while 11 await their upcoming primaries.
Drs. McCormick and Webb
Drs. McCormick and Webb

Two of the six physician candidates who won their primary races find themselves in particularly unique — and extremely competitive — races. AGA PAC is monitoring these races in hopes for more physicians to walk the halls of Congress and support our profession.

Candidate McCormick

Candidate Rich McCormick, MD, R-GA-7

Dr. McCormick is running in the open seat that is being vacated by Rep. Rob Woodall, R-GA, who had served in this traditionally Republican-leaning seat since he was first elected in 2010. Georgia’s 7th Congressional District, a northern suburb of Atlanta, has historically trended Republican with an R+9 partisan voter index. In 2012, during his presidential campaign, Sen. Mitt Romney carried the district by 22 points. However, the demographic metamorphosis of the district in following years has subsequently impacted the partisan tilt. In 2016, President Trump carried the district by just 6 points. Moreover, in the 2018 midterm elections, Rep. Woodall barely clung on to the seat, coming within 419 votes of losing the race.

Currently, the non-partisan election prognosticator Cook Political Report has the race rating for this seat listed as a “toss up.” The Cook Report further details that while the demographics have been trending away from its traditional Republican-leaning tilt, current Rep. Woodall had run an anemic campaign in the last election and a fresh candidate would prove to make this race more advantageously competitive. Dr. McCormick, an ER physician and Marine veteran, won a competitive seven-way primary to serve as the GOP candidate in the general election. He will be facing candidate Carolyn Bourdeaux, D-GA, a former Georgia State University professor and state budget director who had previously run against Rep. Woodall in the 2018 election. Both candidates, benefiting from financial support from their respective party committees and competing in this newly purple district, will be featured in one of the more expensive and competitive congressional races in the 2020 election.

Candidate Webb

Candidate Cameron Webb, MD, D-VA-5

In one of the more unusual races of the election cycle, Dr. Cameron Webb will be facing GOP candidate Bob Good — who had defeated freshman incumbent Rep. Denver Riggleman in a controversial drive-through primary convention. The unusual and bitterly contested drive-through convention was orchestrated by local party officials in an effort to favor the more hard-line candidate Bob Good. Party officials did so in response to outrage after Rep. Riggleman officiated a same-sex wedding of two of his campaign volunteers. The drama surrounding the GOP primary race and the selection of Bob Good as the GOP candidate ultimately benefits Dr. Webb, as Good’s hard-line views and his struggle to raise campaign funds make the district distinctly competitive.

Dr. Webb, who is a general internist and is married to an ER physician, resides in Charlottesville and is cognizant that turn-out will be key to winning the Republican-leaning district. The district is reliably Republican and the last time the district was won by Democrats was in 2008. President Trump won the district by double-digits in 2016. However, given the vulnerabilities of GOP candidate Bob Good, non-partisan election prognosticator Cook Political Report moved the race rating from “likely Republican” down to “leans Republican.” Dr. Webb has kicked off general election campaigning by stressing how the current public health crisis illustrates the necessity of increased physician representation and expertise in Congress. While the seat will remain competitive despite the vulnerability of the GOP candidate, Dr. Webb enjoys the support of a wide swath of constituencies and should he win in November, he will join as the first black physician to serve as a voting member in Congress.

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