Six years after losing her son to gun violence, first-time candidate Lucy McBath has emerged victorious in her bid to claim a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Her opponent, Republican Rep. Karen Handel, conceded the race for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District on Thursday morning in a statement released on Facebook:
After carefully reviewing all of the election results data, it is clear that I came up a bit short on Tuesday. Congratulations to Representative-Elect Lucy McBath and I send her only good thoughts and much prayer for the journey that lies ahead for her.
Citing February’s Parkland, FL mass shooting as the impetus for her decision to pursue a congressional seat, McBath relinquished her 30-year career as a flight attendant in order to embrace her calling in gun-control advocacy following her son’s murder.
“I’m still a mother. I’m still parenting,” McBath told CNN. “That’s why I believed this was the time to stand up.”
Her son, Jordan Davis, became national news in 2012 after he was murdered at a gas station after a dispute over loud music. He was only 17-years old.
Using Florida’s controversial stand-your-ground law as his defense, the shooter, Michael Dunn, was found not guilty of murder in his first trial. However, in a subsequent 2014 retrial, Dunn was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.
In the immediate aftermath, McBath channeled her grief into activism. She began working with the advocacy groups Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Everytown for Gun Safety, before becoming the National Spokesperson for the former and the Faith and Outreach Leader for both groups in 2013.
After winning one of the tightest congressional races in Georgia, McBath is in good company. As she joins groundbreaking women of color such as Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Sharice Davids as one of the faces of the House’s new Democratic majority.