Gun control activist Lucy McBath, whose son was shot and killed in 2012, will win the Democratic nomination in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, CNN projects.
McBath, who defeated businessman Kevin Abel in a runoff election, will now face Republican Rep. Karen Handel in November in a race that could show whether gun control is an effective issue for Democrats in wealthy suburban districts. The district hasn’t elected a Democratic US representative since the 1970s.
Democrats also held a runoff in another congressional district where they hope a blue wave in November could help oust an incumbent Republican. In GOP Rep. Rob Woodall’s 7th District, Georgia State University professor Carolyn Bourdeaux defeated David Kim, a tutoring business founder, CNN projects.
From gun control advocate to House candidate
McBath became a prominent spokeswoman for the gun control movement after her 17-year-old son Jordan Davis was shot and killed by a white man in 2012 after a dispute over loud music. She testified before Congress on the issue and also campaigned with Hillary Clinton in 2016 as part of the “Mothers of the Movement” — a group of women who lost children to police or gun violence.
McBath told CNN before the runoff that she was inspired to jump into the Georgia congressional race by the activism of the students who survived the shooting in Parkland, Florida.
“What I began to recognize is that I can keep helping to build this national movement and organize for gun violence prevention,” McBath said. “But you’ve got to have people on the inside that are willing to do the work, creating the bills and initiatives, who will push the issue. You’ve got to have gun-sense champions on the inside. Until I’m able to create real, hard, systemic change, broad change that saves a large number of lives, there’s no justice. We’ve got children dying in the classroom. Where’s the justice in that?”
McBath added that she hopes to become a champion in Washington for activists like the students at Parkland.
“I’m still a mother. I’m still parenting. That’s why I believed this was the time to stand up,” she said.