Georgia State professor Carolyn Bourdeaux will be facing off against GOP Rep. Rob Woodall, a four term incumbent since 2010, in November’s midterm elections following Tuesday’s runoff.
Bourdeaux had ran against fellow Democrat David Kim and won 52 to 48 percent. The candidates were vying for Georgia’s 7th congressional district which houses the cities of Norcross, Cumming, Lawrenceville, Duluth, Suwanee and Buford.
Bourdeaux is a professor at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State. She teaches Public Service and Democracy and Budgeting.
She said that one of her main reasons for running for office is because of the state that America’s healthcare system is in, specifically with Medicaid and access to insurance.
“I am not okay with the undermining of the Affordable Care Act and the failure to expand Medicaid in Georgia and it is part of an overall effort to try and destroy that decent healthcare legislation,” Bourdeaux said. “There are people in Georgia who are too poor to get insurance on the exchange.”
Another reason why she wanted to become a Congresswoman is because Donald Trump was elected president.
“That’s proxy for a bunch of issues that I really deeply disagree with where the country is headed as a resulted. That’s everything from healthcare, to education, to destruction of environmental protections, to the need for…immigration reform that respects basic human dignity,” she said.
The professor said that acquiring money is something that every politician faces during an election, and it is one issue that she has struggled with.
“I am not an attorney. I am not a wealthy businessman and the fundraising is challenging as a result of it,” Bourdeaux said.
In regards to what she can do for Georgia State and public education, she said she would make it more affordable by supporting existing programs that help with alleviating some of the financial stress of going to college.
“I am a strong proponent of making sure college is affordable for all young folks. Right now, the Trump administration is cutting funding for programs like work study and Pell Grants, or has proposed that,” she said. “We need to go the other direction and expand access to the programs that make college more affordable.”
Georgia State student Zoe Sanchez echoes the sentiment expressed by Bourdeaux.
“I wouldn’t be able to go to college if it weren’t for my Pell Grant. But I think there should be more options for grants/aid and I think that those options should be heavily promoted,” Sanchez said. “I think that a lot of students are not even aware of financial aid opportunities because they aren’t made aware of them.”
Petra Goettel is an out-of-state student who also believes something should be done about tuition costs.
“While I understand [out-of-state tuition] is a concept used by university systems all over the country to keep residents within their own state so they can keep money coming in that way, it’s more of a slap in the face to any student that feels their quality of life/education/future/etc would be better somewhere else,” Goettel said.
Bourdeaux also believes that Georgia State is a good model for other universities throughout the country.
“Georgia State famously graduates more African American students, more than any other university in the country, including historically black schools, and it has done that in part through some very innovative programs one of which is a red flag program to make sure that it addresses the problems students are facing early on and another one is that it’s got this wonderful small loan bridge program to help students who are having trouble just meeting the next $100 of their tuition payments,” Bourdeaux said.
As November and the midterm elections grows closer, Bourdeaux is encouraging people to go out and vote and become more active in politics.
The Signal does not endorse any one candidate in this nor other congressional races.