The Tide: Lucy McBath

Georgia’s 6th Congressional District vaulted into the national spotlight early last year. Its sitting representative, Tom Price, had been confirmed as President Trump’s secretary of Health and Human Services, triggering a special election in the suburban district just north of Atlanta. The runoff between Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel and former congressional aide Jon Ossoff, a first-time political candidate, was seen as a referendum on the young presidency. Handel barely edged out a win in the district formerly held by House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and she is facing a substantial reelection fight this fall. Last year, Ossoff was painted as an out-of-touch, Washington-based political operative who cared more for his own ambition than he did for the district where he had grown up. This fall, Representative Handel must overcome a well-funded, inspiring opponent.

Lucy McBath has never run for office, much like many other candidates this cycle. Her experience as an organizer is likely to help her in a district Trump narrowly won in 2016. McBath grew up in Illinois, where her father served as president of the state’s NAACP chapter, allowing her to organize alongside Martin Luther King Jr. as a young girl in the 1960s. However, her path to civic activism was marred by tragedy.

In 2012, her son, Jordan Davis, was shot and killed at a gas station. The shooter claimed Davis refused to turn down his musicMcBath has turned her grief into a crusade for her community and against Handel and the NRA. Prior to running for Congress, McBath started several local charities and non-profits while serving as the national spokesperson for the gun control group, Everytown for Gun Safety.

McBath is also running on a fairly progressive platform for a district as red as the 6th. She frequently speaks out against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, supports reforming the Medicare eligibility age to include people over 55 and has supported a woman’s right to choose. 

Following the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, polls have indicated that over 60 House seats held by Republicans are up for grabs next month, and the Georgia 6th is one of the Democratic Party’s top targets. Considering her life story, experience and policy positions, Lucy McBath’s congressional district is likely to send its first Democratic representative to Washington since 1976. Gingrich was elected to his first term in 1978.

Donald Trump won Georgia’s 6th Congressional District by just one percent in 2016, while 25 House districts won by Hillary Clinton in 2016 are currently represented by a Republican. The Democrats only need 25 seats of the 60 toss-ups to win the speaker’s gavel, and their path to victory may very well run through the Georgia 6th

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Hillary Clinton won Georgia’s 6th Congressional District in the 2016 presidential election. Donald Trump won the district by one percentage point. The article has been updated to reflect this change. The Daily regrets this error.