Anti-gun activist Lucy McBath will represent Georgia’s sixth district in Congress next year. Karen Handel, the Republican who has represented the district since defeating Democrat Jon Ossoff in an expensive and closely-watched special election last year, conceded the race Thursday morning.
“After carefully reviewing all of the election results data, it is clear that I came up a bit short on Tuesday,” Handel wrote on Facebook. “Congratulations to Representative-Elect Lucy McBath and I send her only good thoughts and much prayer for the journey that lies ahead for her.”
McBath’s son, Jordan Davis, was shot and killed by a white man named Michael David Dunn after Dunn demanded he turn down his music. Tragedy spurred McBath to advocacy; she went on to become one of the “Mothers of the Movement,” a close-knit group of women who have lost Black children to police violence or gun violence.
“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 declaring victory on Thursday. “After Parkland, I was compelled to enter this race for Congress to provide leadership that would be about the business of putting lives over profit. I vow to make that my top priority.”
McBath’s triumph in Georgia is an encouraging signal for Democrats, who narrowly lost a bitterly fought election in the same district less than a year and a half before. Georgia’s sixth, which Hillary Clinton won in 2016, was represented for by Tom Price before Price was appointed Secretary of Health and Human Services. Before that, it was conservative firebrand Newt Gingrich’s district.