Late-Breaking Congressional Win of Gun Reform Advocate Lucy McBath Has Bittersweet Significance
On Thursday morning, with less than a 3,000 vote lead, Democrat Lucy McBath was declared the victor of the close Congressional race in Georgia’s 6th District. McBath’s victory against GOP Rep. Karen Handel, however, is bittersweet, as it comes on the heels of today’s tragic mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, California — the 307th mass shooting in 2018.
McBath is a former Delta flight attendant who has been advocating for justice and gun reform since her 17-year-old son, Jordan Russell Davis, was fatally shot by a white gunman in 2012 while he was listening to music in his car. In 2014, his killer was convicted of first-degree murder for the crime.
McBath officially put in her bid to run for Congress in March. Her district seat once belonged to Newt Gingrich.
“Six years ago I went from a Marietta mom to a mother on a mission. After my son was lost to gun violence, I stood up and started demanding more,” McBath said in a statement Thursday. “After Parkland, I was compelled to enter this race for Congress to provide leadership that would be about the business of putting liver over profit. I vow to make that my top priority.”
McBath’s race was just one of two close races in Georgia. The governor’s race between Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp has yet to be called. Both women, who are Black, had the odds against them as they campaigned in the red state. McBath’s seat had been dominated by the GOP since 1979. Her win now brings 225 Democrats to the House, but there are still a number of House, Senate, and governor races that have yet to be decided.
“This win is just the beginning,” McBath tweeted. “We’ve sent a strong message to the entire country. Absolutely nothing — no politician and no special interest — is more powerful than a mother on a mission.”
Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said McBath’s win is also a victory for the fight against gun violence. Watts said that 150 candidates that support gun reform have now been elected to Congress.
“I am so incredibly grateful to @LucyWins2018 for helping to make @MomsDemand what it is today,” Watts tweeted. “Her advocacy, insight, and commitment have been invaluable. I look forward to calling Congresswoman Lucy McBath to discuss passing new federal gun legislation.”
McBath’s opponent, Karen Handel, has an A rating from the NRA’s Political Victory fund, and was personally endorsed by the powerful firearms lobby.
“After carefully reviewing all of the election results data, it is clear that I came up a bit short on Tuesday,” Handel said as she conceded today, according to Politico Insider. “Congratulations to Representative-Elect Lucy McBath and send her only good thoughts and much prayer for the journey that lies ahead for her.”
(Photo by Thos Robinson/Getty Images for VH1)