Rep. Lucy McBath defeated Karen Handel in a rematch from their 2018 race
Lucy McBath won re-election in Georgia’s 6th congressional district in a rematch against Karen Handel.
Rep. McBath was the projected winner of the 2020 election and will serve her second term in Congress, the New York Times reports. McBath is a first-term incumbent who unseated Handel, a Republican, in 2018 with less than 3,000 votes.
McBath secured a victory with 54% of the vote to Handel’s 46% with 99% of precincts reporting their estimated votes. As of Wednesday morning, McBath earned 188,734 votes and Handel had 163,845.
Her recent campaign was focused on being bipartisan and stressing the work she did to provide funds to study ways to prevent gun injuries and deaths. Handel claimed that McBath was only a single-issue voter with a focus on gun control and too liberal.
McBath’s initial shock victory came as the Atlanta metro compromised of Cobb, Fulton, and DeKalb Counties were beginning to show a shift in allegiance and lean Democratic. McBath ran on a message of “mother on a mission,” which touched upon her personal history. She came into the public consciousness after her 17-year-old, Jordan Davis, was shot and killed in 2012 by Michael Dunn. Dunn argued the defense of “Stand Your Ground,” but was ultimately sentenced to life in prison.
McBath became an activist following her son’s death and then entered politics as the nation grappled with shootings, in particular against young Black males. The Marietta mother set her sights on the 6th district, which Handel won in a special district in 2017. The seat had been solidly Republican with such notable names as House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, and former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price holding it.
McBath’s surprise win was the first time a Democrat assumed control of the seat since the 1970s. However, she was dismissed as a fluke who only won due to sympathy over her son’s passing and that she was a “minority female.”
“But it is wrong to say like McBath said, that the reason she won was because of her anti-gun stance. That didn’t have anything to do with it — it had to do with being a minority female. And the Democrats really turned out, and that’s the problem we have with conservatives — we don’t turn out as well,” National Rifle Association President Carolyn Meadows told the Marietta Daily Journal in 2019.
McBath pushed back against the taunt and responded to it on social media.
“The House has already passed gun safety legislation for the first time in decades, and there is much more to come… My work on gun violence, healthcare, and many other issues is just starting,” McBath declared in a tweet. “And yes – as a woman of color I am proud to be part of the most diverse class in American history. My experiences drive the work I am doing for my constituents. And nobody can take that away from me.”
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