McBath defeated GOP incumbent Karen Handel, who famously beat Democrat Jon Ossoff in last year’s special election.
Gun control advocate Lucia “Lucy” McBath won her race for Congress in Georgia’s long-red 6th District on Thursday toppling GOP incumbent Karen Handel in an unexpected victory.
After carefully reviewing all of the election results, it is clear that I came up a bit short on Tuesday. Congratulations to Representative-Elect Lucy McBath & I send her only good thoughts and much prayer for the journey that lies ahead for her.
McBath, a political newcomer, upset Handel, who beat Democrat Jon Ossoff in last year’s special election ― the most expensive House race in history.
McBath’s victory in the suburban Atlanta district, long a Republican stronghold, could be seen as a turning point for Democrats seeking to change the state from red to purple. McBath’s district, much like the rest of Georgia, has grown increasingly diverse in recent years, with more people of color, and likely Democrats, moving in.
The closely watched governor’s race in Georgia remained too close to call on Thursday morning, with Democrat Stacey Abrams vying to become the nation’s first black female governor, running against Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp. Kemp faced accusations of voter suppression, which he denied.
McBath’s race also may have reflected Americans’ evolving views on gun control. She campaigned on a bold gun control platform in a state with gun-friendly laws in the heart of the Deep South, which has some of the nation’s highest rates of gun ownership.
McBath, 58, was thrust into the national spotlight in 2012, when her black 17-year-old son, Jordan Davis, was shot dead at a Florida gas station by a white man complaining about loud music. The killer claimed he was justified under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, but a jury convicted him of first-degree murder.
McBath later became a spokesperson for gun safety group Moms Demand Action. After the Parkland, Florida, school mass shooting in February, she set her sights on Congress.
“I knew that I could no longer sit on the sidelines,” McBath wrote on her campaign site, “while the politicians in the pocket of the gun manufacturing lobby decide the future of our gun laws.”
McBath was part of a record wave of women ― specifically women of color ― nominated for public office in the 2018 elections. On Thursday, she joined the unprecedented number of women to be elected to the U.S. House.