Meet Rob Woodall, the newest GOP candidate for the 7th

Until last week, 40-year-old Rob Woodall was chief of staff for U.S. Rep. John Linder. He’s been with the congressman for 16 years.

Woodall called this morning to introduce himself as the newest candidate in the Republican contest to replace his now former boss.

He announced Wednesday, in a conversation with Neal Boortz on WSB (750AM). Boortz and Linder have paired on a couple books on the Fair Tax – a proposed sales-tax substitute for the income tax.

What you probably didn’t know is that Woodall was involved in the writing of both. Said the former staffer:

“I think of myself more as a ghost on the first book. They put my name on the second time around.

“When they got ready to do that second book, they said, ‘Rob do you have the time to help us out with it?’ So I took some unpaid leave from work and really threw myself into it. I really appreciate them giving me that opportunity. The Fair Tax is one of my passions.”

Woodall said Linder was “just thrilled” by his decision to enter the race, made after the abrupt withdrawal of state Sen. Don Balfour (R-Snellville). “I appreciate his support on that,” the former chief of staff said.

The second thing you need to know about Woodall is that he does not live in the 7th District. “I do not. As of Friday I will. They’re cleaning out and finishing the floors on a place out in Lawrenceville. So I will soon be a Lawrenceville resident,” Woodall said.

Woodall is a Georgia native – born in Athens, raised in Avondale and DeKalb County. A graduate of Furman University and the University of Georgia law school.

Very likely, Woodall’s longtime residency abroad will become an issue in the race. Consituency service is how he’ll answer any questions:

“For every day that I’ve been working for John, I’ve been serving the folks in Gwinnett.

“I’ve been in Washington D.C. But I’m not of Washington D.C. It is funny to me that I’m not the hometown guy, that I’m the underdog from out of town.

“I’m thinking, golly, I know your kids, I know your families, I know your deepest darkest secrets, because we’ve been working on them and trying to solve them together for over a decade.”

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64 comments Add your comment

Jon Lester

March 25th, 2010
6:23 pm

So is he aware of why the “Fair Tax” appeals to people like Neal Boortz, or does he honestly believe it’s a good idea? Neither possible answer would inspire my confidence, frankly.

Neal

March 25th, 2010
6:32 pm

I know Rob, if you shake hands with him count your fingers, he should be running for the real Deal’s seat.

AngryVoter

March 25th, 2010
6:58 pm

Can this be real? A political hack who has been part of the mess in DC for sixteen years thinks he can hoodwink the locals around here to give him a job. Is his ear that tin that he thinks people want to vote for someone who has done nothing but work in government for sixteen years? His running for the seat pretty much tells us he is incompetent to do anything but get a government paycheck, doesn’t it?

Why won’t real people of substance come forward and honorably serve us in government instead of partisan flacks who think government is a career? We deserve better.

old political pro

March 25th, 2010
7:24 pm

this guy is a total joke.

TW

March 25th, 2010
7:27 pm

And he’s pro-choice!

David S

March 25th, 2010
8:37 pm

His residency should be of no concern to anyone. His principles should be. What is his stand on the 9th and 10th amendments? How much government is he going to work to cut and eliminate? Does he support ending the dept. of education? Why does he not favor eliminating the income tax and replacing it with NOTHING? Why does he think that government deserves as much money as this so-called Fair Tax would deliver to them? Where does he stand on eliminating the AMA monopoly on medicine? Where does he stand on eliminating the FDA in favor of private certification of product safety? Where does he stand on abolishing the Federal Reserve and restoring a sound money system to the US? Where does he stand on finally ending these futile wars in the middle east in support of Israel’s foreign policy objectives and those of the oil and defense companies?

Being a colleague of Linder should not put him high on anyone’s list. Linder was no small government guy. At this point, the candidate looking to shut down most of Washington and slash spending on EVERYTHING to the bone deserves everyone’s vote.

Red

March 25th, 2010
8:48 pm

Can we get a candidate who will spend more time on other issues besides the Fair Tax? With the massive expansion of the IRS just put into effect, the Fair Tax just got pushed farther to the back of the shelf. Right now there are more pressing issues we need people to fight for.

As for not living in the district, when’s the last time he visited Good Hope, GA? Or some other corner of the district NOT in Gwinnett? He may have been serving those in Gwinnett but he forgot that Walton, Barrow, and small parts of Forsyth and Newton are in the district.

GOP Voter

March 25th, 2010
9:54 pm

This guy is a joke. Please – can’t we get someone decent in this race?

dagnabit

March 25th, 2010
9:56 pm

Well Red; this guy wants to push his agenda. He doesn’t care about Walton, Barrow, or parts of Forsyth and Newton.

Red

March 25th, 2010
10:01 pm

dagnabit – that’s my point. Right out of the box, he comes out mentioning Gwinnett. That’s great since a good bit of the population is there. But he’s leaving out a decent portion of the district. Not a smart move.

Jon

March 25th, 2010
10:31 pm

No Carpetbaggers Need Apply.

T2

March 25th, 2010
10:52 pm

I for one will wait and listen to Rob discuss the issues. Give the guy a chance, good grief. Frankly, dogging him now does nothing but make Gwinnett citizens look bad. We need people in office who will serve this district in Washington. I’ve had it with political lackey’s who are beholden to special interest. A fresh pair of eyes in DC can’t hurt.

Skyler Davis

March 25th, 2010
11:01 pm

I’m glad i’m not the only one who noticed he only mentioned Gwinnett!

Piginablanket

March 25th, 2010
11:10 pm

I wouldn’t trust Rob Woodall with anything. He is a DC guy and knows nothing about true service. The fact that he has the arrogance to move back and to run for the seat says it all…

That’s the last type of person that we need serving. Though, Clay Cox is very self serving too. Isn’t there anyone else that can run?

Monroe Burbank

March 25th, 2010
11:19 pm

David S, regarding all your questions on where he stands on all of topics you mention. WHO CARES? The last person we need representing us is another ideologically-blinded right-wing extremest who campaigns on nothing more than his determination to eliminate the FDA, ADA, Department of Education, Federal Reserve, and the income tax. You know why? It’s never going to happen. I’ve got a suggestion for you – take your unhappiness with EVERYTHING and move to Canada.

The elimination of the FDA is about the last thing I worry about these days. Let’s elect a guy who’s main goal is to spend every waking moment in office trying to make life better for those of us in his district. And he can start with telling us his ideas about bringing more jobs to the 7th district.

Atlantan

March 26th, 2010
12:20 am

You guys complaining are lucky – he isn’t John Lewis or Alan Grayson. The 5th will be Lewis’s until he decides to give it to Kasim.

Michael

March 26th, 2010
12:32 am

David S and friends are like vampires that hate the sun rising every day and work to pass legislation to abolish the sun. Good luck with that. Then they get more vampires to pursue the same folly, they get all worked up about it, and in the end the lead vampire is really all about stealing everyone else’s money.

S

March 26th, 2010
12:33 am

The Fairy Tale TAX again…what a lost cause, never going to happen. It is a gimmick, just like religion and abortion is for the Republicans. A gimmick to get the Little Lambs attention, just like a Mama sheep calling her little lambs. All the little lambs raise there heads and go running as soon as the words TAX, ABORTION, and RELIGION are mentioned…Good Grief when are you people going to wake up…Look what has happened to this state since this group of Republicans have been in office for 8 long years in this state of Georgia. Schools closing, teachers laid off, class size increasing, all short of money, foreclosures up the yin yang, roads falling apart and no money to fix them…Wake up for Gawd’s sake…This Republican Group is nothing but a bunch of self serving ethically challenged fools..not just in Georgia but those in Washing as well, they all have the same talking points..when the little lambs don’t line up out comes the words, Abortion, Tax and Religion…hypocrite’s one and all…

True Georgian

March 26th, 2010
2:51 am

Does anyone think it is funny that this guy believes we are New York. In that big ol state, no one was good enough or smart enough to be their senator so Hillary Clinton came to the rescue. Sorry Bud wrong state and wrong party. We got some pretty sharp folks in our District.

Ocean of Wisdom

March 26th, 2010
5:26 am

If he’s worked for Linder for 16 years he ought to be the best choice for the job! Glad to see it!

the FAIRTAX will be the greatest return of POWER TO THE PEOPLE since the first rEVOLution!

http://www.Fairtax.org

????

March 26th, 2010
6:53 am

Does he have a drinking problem like Linder?

Dave

March 26th, 2010
7:10 am

Taking nothing away from John Linder, remember when people voted for a man with no experence? Trouble is like all people we are moved by words not substance, now look at the mess we are in. Like a comment suggested that we have to do our homework, research and ask questions about each person that’s running for office. Get to know that person inside and out and stay away from those who will use the word Change.

washedup

March 26th, 2010
8:31 am

How about a candidate who takes the time to find out how his constituents would like him vote on any given measure, rather than voting a party line. . .or worse yet, like Sam Nunn did on the first Gulf War Resolution, and vote contrary to the 98% in the state who were in favor because he “couldn’t vote against his conscience?” How about a public servant who’ll vote our “conscience”? Remember us, the ones who vote you in and foot the bill for your programs, not to mention your salary?

[...] by radio host Neal Boortz for his work on and support of the FairTax. Woodall got in touch with Jim Galloway at the AJC, to introduce himself to Georgia voters: Woodall said Linder was “just thrilled” by his decision to enter the race, [...]

Joe

March 26th, 2010
8:35 am

I don’t even know this guy and I was a Linder supporter IN THE PAST. Nevertheless, this is precisely the typical beltway insider, political hack, parachuting in to preserve his sense on entitlement and privilege. Watch, when this ruse of ‘representation’ fails, he will be over on K Street, shilling for the highest bidder.
CONSIDER THIS REQUEST, DON’T RE-ELECT ANYONE !

snd

March 26th, 2010
8:39 am

If you are looking for a candidate that has given of himself for this country and understands duty and sacrifice, take a look at Doug Heckman. He ran in 2008 and hopefully will run again. http://www.dougheckman.com/

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

March 26th, 2010
8:59 am

As it is a transparent scam to serve the corrupt rich, those promoting the trick-named “FairTax” should be tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail. Let’s see if the good and decent, honest, working people in Georgia’s Seventh District do what’s right.

Winger

March 26th, 2010
9:00 am

If he’s pro choice, then I’m pro Rob.

deegee

March 26th, 2010
9:19 am

Here are two paragraphs from Woodall’s announcement as it appeared in the Neighborhood Newspaper distributed in Norcross, Berkeley Lake, Peachtree Corners and Duluth. Looks like you are getting another bobblehead mouthpiece for Republican talking points.

“Three weeks ago John announced that he would retire at the end of this year. He and I have worked together side-by-side for more than a decade, first to expand freedom and liberty, and now to fight America’s slide toward socialism. I hope you agree it is imperative, at this critical juncture in our nation’s history, that we ensure that John’s years of dedicated work in Congress on your behalf and on behalf of all the people of our district are not lost.

Look at the damage that has been done to the fabric of our nation in these 15 short months since Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have taken control! There is no better example of this than the imposition of Obamacare on the American people against our will, which occurs with its signing just yesterday! We simply do not have the luxury of waiting for years for someone to learn what I know how to do now. The stakes are too high. The risks are too great.”

snd

March 26th, 2010
9:24 am

deegee – Wow. Not an orginal thought anywhere in that statement.

snd

March 26th, 2010
9:26 am

“Does he have a drinking problem like Linder?”

No…he drinks, falls down and hurts his knee, gets his tax payer funded health coverage and does it all over again.

Timothy

March 26th, 2010
9:47 am

I personally know Rob from my time working in Congress. I think a lot of people make valid points about the issues that he must raise in order to gain our support. But the truth of the matter is that Rob Woodall worked 18-20 hour days in Linder’s office every day, and he did it for the people of the 7th district. If you put someone into office that is too green for Washington, they will never be effective. Rob will be able to hit the ground running because he has been working against the big government status-quo for over a decade, and will be more effective in the short term, as well as in the long term. Spend 5 minutes talking to Rob, and you will surely agree. There’s no BS with him, it’s just work for the people.

deegee

March 26th, 2010
10:00 am

Timothy, can you give us one example of how Rob Woodall succeeded in his fight against big government status-quo during his decade in Washington?

Timothy

March 26th, 2010
10:23 am

I would love to. John Linder was one of a few sponsors of a bill that decreased the taxes and overall barriers of state to state trade for small businesses. As his chief of staff, Woodall played a critical role in not only writing the legislation, but gaining support, managing information in congress about the bill, and pushing it through both the committees and the House.

There are many advantages to being outside of Washington. You get to see what people really want and need in their district. The good thing about Woodall is that he knows the people of Georgia, as well as the system in Washington.

Red

March 26th, 2010
10:49 am

He knows the people of Georgia? Sounds like he doesn’t even know what the 7th is made up of. And again, the Fair Tax is dead. It may come back to life later but there are other issues we need to be focused on right now.

And the Chief of Staff is probably the most disconnected person from the district. Making over $100K and living in DC working 20 hours a day doesn’t exactly put you in touch with the average voters of the district. Strike 1 – he’s not from the district but from DC. Strike 2 – he can’t even accurately describe the district. Strike 3 could be him rallying around the Fair Tax.

For those who say give the guy a chance and it doesn’t matter about being from outside the district – if we’re shopping for leaders, why start small? Heck, let’s hold tryouts with imports from around the country. Hey, we can even make a reality show out of it and have Simon Cowell as celebrity judge. Bring Trump in too. We’ll have a ball!

wow, great

March 26th, 2010
10:58 am

so another political insider running for office. gee, we are just so lucky.

RetiredSoldier

March 26th, 2010
11:02 am

Red- You mean like Hillery in New York back in 2000?

Red

March 26th, 2010
11:07 am

Yep. Same thing. Kennedy. Alan Keyes as well.

Richard

March 26th, 2010
11:09 am

It’s optimistic at best to say that anyone else is more qualified than this guy. I think the Chief of Staff is probably the most in touch with the district. They are the link between the Washington DC office and the district office. One thing that many people don’t realize their elected official does is something called Case Work. The COS in an office helps the district office with Case Work. Case Work directly effects the people in the district, by helping them learn, understand, and utilize laws and regulations that help them do things for themselves. Many of these issues deal with Social Security payments for the community’s elderly, as well as the treatment of Veterans and their medical needs. To say something like making X amount of money and being the COS “doesn’t exactly put you in touch with the average voters of the district” is just a lie. What do you think the motive is behind someone else from the district that wants to run? This guy could have easily left the public sector with his law degree and experience ten years ago and made more than 500k/year. Instead, he decided to stay, and work tirelessly for the people of the 7th district.

RetiredSoldier

March 26th, 2010
11:13 am

But Keyes would have been a heck of alot better than BO!

????

March 26th, 2010
11:17 am

Richard 11:09 am

“This guy could have easily left the public sector with his law degree and experience ten years ago and made more than 500k/year.”

If this boy could make $500k/yr legally, how much is he going have to steal on $120K ? Looks like another Real Deal to me.

Red

March 26th, 2010
11:19 am

Richard – no lie. Fact. Unless you’re really Rob are you up on what a CoS does? Are you Rob’s dad? I’ve dealt with Congressional and Senate offices many times before and you could not even find the CoS. Others in the office deal with case work. It’s like expecting Rahm Emmanuel to deal with the “casework” coming into the White House.

The argument about making all that money in the private sector is stupid. Almost all of those in DC could be doing that. Most have advanced degrees from very prestigious schools. You clearly do not understand DC if you use that logic.

Nice try Richard. Your argument has failed.

Richard

March 26th, 2010
11:39 am

Red-

As a matter of fact I worked in Congress for many years, and now am a part of that private sector you are referring to. I don’t have an advanced degree, and many others around me don’t as well. You trying to tell me how this town works would be like me trying to tell a failed bank what they did wrong. The argument that he could be making that money is not stupid, and is very relevant. For example, three senate COS’s with 2 of them having under 5 years of experience recently left the Senate to move to the private sector and start their own business. They are projected to do over 3.5 million in business next year alone.

I am not affiliated with Rob, but I know Congress like the back of my hand. Casework does occur at the district level, but in many instances, the DC office is asked to step in and make things happen. You’re reference to Rham Emmanuel is what is “stupid” here. We are talking about two completely distinct branches of government between the legislative and executive. Also, you are doing your neighbors no favors by acting like case work does not go on. If you could sit in your district office for a day, you would realize all of the case work that benefits citizens that truly need assistance.

The fact is that Linder was elected for 18 years, that’s 9 terms. Rob has been with him through 16 years of those 19, and played a critical role it seems. When you try to piece together logic, don’t say an argument has failed when you yourself do not even know the parts of the engine that make the car accelerate. Behind every long-term congressman is a man or woman doing just as much work as the representative. That man is Rob.

Red

March 26th, 2010
11:52 am

I never said casework DID NOT happen in DC. I just said the CoS does not deal with those matters. And I never said no casework goes on. Not sure where you are getting that. Clearly you need to reread my post. You obviously missed the whole argument. Wow. And you can tell the difference between branches of government? Amazing. The branches are different but the tasks for both CoS’s are very much the same.

I am very aware of the parts Richard. Believe me when I say I have many years familiarity with the district and DC offices and of many states as well. I’ve been involved more than just serving coffee.

Please go back and reread my post. Try not to come in with a presupposition and immediately fire off some response as if I personally offended you. Your whole reply shows you didn’t even read what I wrote. Rob is wrapped in DC. Rob has not spent time in the district in who knows how long and has no clue what a majority of those living here deal with. Ghost-writing books on the Fair Tax is not exactly a huge confidence builder on the other issues facing the district. And if the argument about Obama not serving in the private sector is applied, is Rob versed on this as well?

Sorry but if we are shopping for outsiders, I’ll take my time to find some others.

deegee

March 26th, 2010
12:18 pm

Timothy, I did an exhaustive search of legislation that John Linder sponsored of co-sponsored. I didn’t see anything resembling what you are describing. Help me out, what is the HR number of the bill? I did find the following big government busting legislation that Linder sponsored or co-sponsored.

H.R.4157 : To provide that human life shall be deemed to begin with fertilization.

H.R.6453 : To amend the General Education Provisions Act to prohibit Federal education funding for elementary or secondary schools that provide access to emergency postcoital contraception.

H.R.1063 : To amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit taking minors across State lines in circumvention of laws requiring the involvement of parents in abortion decisions.

H.R.3442 : To ensure that women seeking an abortion are fully informed regarding the pain experienced by their unborn child.

H.R.5032 : To ensure that women seeking an abortion receive an ultrasound and the opportunity to review the ultrasound before giving informed consent to receive an abortion.

H.R.1398 : To amend the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 to provide that manure shall not be considered to be a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.

H.R.1610 : To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to reduce the tax on beer to its pre-1991 level.

H.R.2488 : To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to reduce the rate of tax on distilled spirits to its pre-1985 level.

H.R.1717 : To amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to establish a National Bio and Agro-defense Facility.

H.R.4464 : To ensure that an employer may require employees to speak English while engaged in work.

H.R.5759 : To amend title 4, United States Code, to declare English as the national language of the Government of the United States, and for other purposes.

H.R.3583 : To prevent Government shutdowns.

H.RES.584 : Supporting the goals and ideals of “National Life Insurance Awareness Month”.

H.R.27 : To designate the exclusive economic zone of the United States as the “Ronald Wilson Reagan Exclusive Economic Zone of the United States”.

jane

March 26th, 2010
1:39 pm

Give Rob a chance. He is not like Hillary. Rob actually is from Georgia. He has worked for the 7th district for 16 years. He is a terrific and dynamic guy. Yes, he spent a lot of time in Washington. That is where congress is.

?????

March 26th, 2010
1:51 pm

Richard @ 11:39 am

Are you Bo Chambliss?

?????

March 26th, 2010
1:55 pm

Looks like John Linder was doing a little REAL DEAL for his favorite bar tender:

H.R.1610 : To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to reduce the tax on beer to its pre-1991 level.

H.R.2488 : To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to reduce the rate of tax on distilled spirits to its pre-1985 level.

Richard

March 26th, 2010
1:55 pm

Red,

You couldn’t be less versed on the workings of a congressional office and the differences between the two jobs of Rham and Rob. However, I do think that shopping around is a great idea. I am sure there are many qualified candidates in the district, and my hope for all of this is to pick the best one. If someone decided to run that was more qualified than Rob, I would support them as well. I just don’t see that happening with the election timeline.

Also, let me be clear, I take no personal offense to anything that you have said. It’s simply policy and politics, neighbor. Also, saying that I served coffee in congress is cruel, and clearly shows your d illusions towards the federal government. I’m not for big government. I work with legislators for a living here in DC, and am a Georgia native with a house in the district. If you can find something to say about him besides the tired argument of being a “DC insider”, I would love to hear it.

And don’t tell me not to come to conclusions when you dismissed my argument as “stupid” and “failed”. In fact, nothing you have said presents any kind of logic.

?????

March 26th, 2010
1:56 pm

Richard are you Jane?