|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Georgia's 6th district
January 3, 2019
Lucia Kay Holman
June 1, 1960
Joliet, Illinois, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Ronald Davis (div.)|
|Children||2 (both deceased)|
|Education||Virginia State University (BA)|
Lucia Kay McBath (née Holman; born June 1, 1960) is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Georgia's 6th congressional district. The district, which was once represented by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former U. S. Senator Johnny Isakson, includes many of Atlanta's affluent northern suburbs, such as Alpharetta, Roswell, Johns Creek, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Brookhaven, and parts of Tucker and Marietta. She is a member of the Democratic Party.
McBath's son, Jordan Davis, was murdered in November 2012. She became an advocate for gun control, joining other mothers of African-American murder victims to form the Mothers of the Movement, and spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. McBath ran for the House of Representatives in 2018 and defeated Republican incumbent Karen Handel.
McBath was born in Joliet, Illinois, on June 1, 1960. Her father, Lucien Holman, was a dentist who owned The Black Voice, an African-American newspaper, and served as president of the NAACP's Illinois chapter. Her mother, Wilma, worked as a nurse. Lucy has a sister, Lori.
McBath attended Virginia State University and graduated with a bachelor's degree in political science in 1982. After college, McBath worked as an intern for Douglas Wilder. In the 1990s, she became a flight attendant for Delta Air Lines and relocated to Atlanta, where Delta is headquartered.
In 2012, McBath's 17-year-old son, Jordan Davis, was shot and killed following an argument at a gas station in Florida about loud music. The shooting and its aftermath received national attention, and prompted discussion about controversial self-defense laws, commonly known as stand-your-ground laws.
Following her son's death, McBath joined Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America as a national spokeswoman. She attended a speech on gun violence at the White House given by President Barack Obama, and supported the My Brother's Keeper Challenge. McBath also joined the gun control advocacy group Mothers of the Movement, which consists of African American women whose children have been killed by gun violence. McBath also continued her advocacy by helping defeat legislation in the Florida Legislature that would expand campus carry.
McBath created a foundation, Champion In The Making Legacy, to help high school graduates continue their education and training.
McBath appeared in a 2015 documentary film, 3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets, that explored her son's shooting. McBath also appeared in the 2015 documentary film The Armor of Light, in which Rob Schenck, a pro-life Evangelical minister, discusses gun violence in America; The Armor of Light won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Social Issue Documentary.
McBath credits her decision to run for office to a meeting with State Representative Renitta Shannon, who urged her to run. Several other factors contributed to her decision, including the election of Donald Trump, and the undoing of previously-enacted gun control measures.
After initially planning to run for the Georgia House of Representatives against incumbent Republican Sam Teasley in the 2018 elections, she decided after the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting to instead challenge Karen Handel, the incumbent Republican in the United States House of Representatives representing Georgia's 6th congressional district.
Although the 6th has historically tilted Republican, Handel was thought to be vulnerable. Donald Trump barely carried the district in 2016. Also, Handel won a hotly contested special election in 2017 to Jon Ossoff that remains the most expensive U.S. House race in American history.
In the Democratic Party primary election on May 22, McBath led all challengers with 36% of the vote. She faced Kevin Abel, the second-place finisher, in a runoff election on July 24. She defeated Abel with 53.7 percent of the vote.
McBath faced Handel in the general election in November and declared victory with 159,268 votes, surpassing Handel's 156,396 with 100% of precincts reporting. She became the first Democrat to represent this district since it moved to Atlanta's northern suburbs in 1993. Indeed, she was the first Democrat to garner even 40 percent of the vote in a general election for the district since Gingrich left office in 1999. A number of reports described McBath as the first Democrat to represent this district since Gingrich won it in 1978. However, for his first seven terms, Gingrich represented a district that stretched across a swath of exurban and rural territory south and west of Atlanta; he transferred to the reconfigured 6th after the 1990 census.
Her victory has been described as "the biggest Georgia Democratic upset of the 2018 midterms."
McBath was discussed as a possible candidate in the 2020 Georgia Senate special election. According to The Hill, McBath was considered "one of the top potential contenders" among Democrats for the seat. However, she declined to run for that office, saying she preferred to continue focusing on her work in the House.
McBath raised $620,000 in the fourth quarter of 2019. As of the end of 2019, McBath had $1.3 million cash on hand for her reelection bid. 93% of her contributions came from small-dollar donors.
McBath cosponsored the Honoring American Veterans in Extreme Need Act (or "HAVEN Act"), which protects military disability benefits from going to creditors in bankruptcy proceedings.
McBath supports expanding Medicaid in Georgia, and would lower the age of Medicare eligibility to 55.
McBath voted for the Raise the Wage Act, which would increase the federal minimum wage to $15 / hour. Before voting for the bill, the centrist New Democrat coalition (of which McBath is a part) secured some changes: a longer timeline to phase in the wage increases, and provisions that would pause wage increases if a federal study shows adverse economic impacts.
McBath initially decided to run for Congress because she believed the government was not doing enough to prevent gun violence. She advocates for universal background checks before purchasing a firearm, as well as red flag laws to keep guns out of the hands of people who are strongly at risk of becoming violent.
During the 2018 election, McBath vowed to respect Second Amendment rights. She also promised to push for "implementing background checks for all firearm purchases; raising the minimum age to purchase a gun to 21 years of age; working to defeat conceal carry reciprocity measures; and introducing legislation to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and other criminals."
Prior to the Trump-Ukraine scandal, McBath had been cautious about impeaching President Donald Trump, or opposed it outright. For instance, in the aftermath of the Mueller investigation, McBath was one of 137 Democrats who voted to kill an impeachment resolution.
In October 2019, McBath voted in favor of launching an impeachment inquiry into Trump. She sits on the House Judiciary Committee, which has been tasked with handling some impeachment-related business. During a town hall event, she said she had felt "furious" about "the lack of accountability" from the Trump administration, due to what she called a lack of responsiveness to congressional subpoenas. At the same event, she also said "I don't like having to [participate in the impeachment process]. ... I don't want to have to say this about our President of the United States and the White House."
|Republican||Karen Handel (incumbent)||156,875||49.5|
|Democratic gain from Republican|
McBath grew up in a military family; her father, brother, nephew and cousin all served in the US military in some capacity. McBath has survived two bouts of breast cancer. She is married to Curtis McBath. They live in Marietta.