Lucy McBath
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Lucy McBath

Lucy McBath
Lucy McBath, official portrait, 116th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 6th district

January 3, 2019
Karen Handel
Personal details
Born
Lucia Kay Holman

(1960-06-01) June 1, 1960 (age 60)
Joliet, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Ronald Davis (div.)
Curtis McBath
Children2 (both deceased)
EducationVirginia State University (BA)
WebsiteHouse website

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.

Early life and career

McBath was born in Joliet, Illinois, on June 1, 1960.[1][2] 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.[3]

McBath attended Virginia State University and graduated with a bachelor's degree in political science in 1982.[4] After college, McBath worked as an intern for Douglas Wilder.[4] In the 1990s, she became a flight attendant for Delta Air Lines and relocated to Atlanta, where Delta is headquartered.[2]

Political activism

Lucy McBath at a film discussion in 2015.

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.[5]

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,[6] and supported the My Brother's Keeper Challenge.[7] 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.[8] McBath also continued her advocacy by helping defeat legislation in the Florida Legislature that would expand campus carry.[9]

McBath campaigned actively for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election[8] and spoke on her behalf at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.[10][11]

McBath created a foundation, Champion In The Making Legacy, to help high school graduates continue their education and training.[9]

McBath appeared in a 2015 documentary film, 3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets, that explored her son's shooting.[12] 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.[13]

U.S. House of Representatives

Elections

2018

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.[14]

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.[2][6][15][16]

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.[17] She defeated Abel with 53.7 percent of the vote.[18]

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.[19][18] 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.[20] A number of reports described McBath as the first Democrat to represent this district since Gingrich won it in 1978.[21] 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;[22] 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."[23]

2020

McBath was discussed as a possible candidate in the 2020 Georgia Senate special election.[24] 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.[25]

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.[26]

Tenure

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.[27]

McBath also co-sponsored legislation to extend Pell Grant eligibility to college students if their school closed, or if school officials committed institutional fraud or misconduct.[28]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Political positions

Abortion

McBath supports legal abortion. She has said she supports funding programs that give women "autonomy over their reproductive decisions".[30]

Health care

McBath supports making changes to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. She does not support a "Medicare for All"-style approach.[31]

McBath supports expanding Medicaid in Georgia, and would lower the age of Medicare eligibility to 55.[30]

Economy

McBath has stated she is critical of some of the 2017 Republican tax cuts, but she would like to make the temporary middle-class tax cuts permanent.[30]

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.[32]

Gun control

I refuse to apologize ... for calling out my opponents when they respond to mass shootings with the same tired talking points. Our communities need someone who will stand up for gun violence victims, and I plan on continuing to be that person.

Lucy McBath[33]

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.[30]

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."[34]

Immigration

McBath does not favor abolishing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE).[31]

President Trump

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.[35]

In October 2019, McBath voted in favor of launching an impeachment inquiry into Trump.[36] 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."[37]

On December 13, 2019, McBath voted in favor of articles of impeachment against President Trump on the House Judiciary Committee.[38][39]

Electoral history

Democratic primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Lucy McBath 15,138 36.27
Democratic Kevin Abel 12,747 30.54
Democratic Bobby Kaple 10,956 26.25
Democratic Steven Griffin 2,901 6.95
Total votes 41,742 100.0
Democratic primary runoff results
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Lucy McBath 14,285 53.7
Democratic Kevin Abel 12,303 46.3
Total votes 26,588 100.0
Georgia's 6th congressional district, 2018[40]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Lucy McBath 160,139 50.5
Republican Karen Handel (incumbent) 156,875 49.5
Total votes 317,014 100.0
Democratic gain from Republican

Personal life

McBath grew up in a military family; her father, brother, nephew and cousin all served in the US military in some capacity.[41] McBath has survived two bouts of breast cancer.[42] She is married to Curtis McBath.[43] They live in Marietta.

She had a son who died in 1993. Her other son, Jordan, was murdered in 2012.[42] McBath is deeply religious and named him after the River Jordan in the Bible.[44]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Lucy McBath's Biography". Des Moines, IA: Vote Smart. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Chavez, Nicole (May 20, 2018). "Lucy McBath refused to be quiet after her son's murder. Now she's running for Congress". CNNPolitics. Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ Mayer, Madhu (February 19, 2014). "Former Joliet resident morn's loss of son, lack of justice". The Times Weekly. Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ a b King, Jamilah. "A White Man Shot and Killed Her Only Son. Now Lucy McBath Is Running So It Doesn't Happen to Anyone Else". Mother Jones (March/April 2018). Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ Tienabeso, Seni (February 17, 2014). "'I Was the Victim,' Says Loud Music Trial Shooter in Jailhouse Phone Call". abcnews.go.com. ABCNew. Retrieved 2014.
  6. ^ a b Bluestein, Greg (March 6, 2018). "High-profile gun control advocate enters Georgia's 6th District race: Lucy McBath is challenging U.S. Rep. Karen Handel". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2018.
  7. ^ "To Raise, Love, and Lose a Black Child". The Atlantic. October 8, 2014. Retrieved 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Mothers Fueled by Personal Loss Turn Focus to Political Change". NBC News. Retrieved 2018.
  9. ^ a b Jaimee Swift (June 13, 2017). "Jordan Davis' Mother, Lucia McBath, Speaks On Gun Reform And Jordan's Legacy | HuffPost". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018.
  10. ^ Drabold, Will (July 26, 2016). "DNC: Meet The Mothers Of The Movement". Time. Retrieved 2018.
  11. ^ Torres, Kristina (July 26, 2016). "Marietta mom of shooting victim to address gun violence Tuesday at DNC". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2018.
  12. ^ Blair, Ian F. (June 23, 2015). "'3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets' Examines the Murder of Jordan Davis". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2018.
  13. ^ "The armor of light". THE ARMOR OF LIGHT. Retrieved 2019.
  14. ^ Fulwood III, Sam. "There are black women not named Oprah running for office across the country". ThinkProgress. Retrieved 2018.
  15. ^ "'To not do anything is a tragedy': Mom who lost son to gun violence runs for Congress". ABC News. Retrieved 2018.
  16. ^ Williams, Vanessa. "Citing Parkland shooting, anti-gun-violence activist is running for Congress in Georgia". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2018.
  17. ^ Ruiz, Sarah. "Gun Reform Advocate Lucy McBath Heads To Runoff For Georgia House Seat". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018.
  18. ^ a b Ruiz-Grossman, Sarah (July 24, 2018). "Gun Reform Advocate Lucy McBath Wins Democratic Nod For Georgia House Seat". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018.
  19. ^ Lucy McBath declares victory in 6th District race; Karen Handel not conceding
  20. ^ https://www.ourcampaigns.com/ContainerHistory.html?ContainerID=421
  21. ^ John Verhovek; Meg Cunningham (November 8, 2018). "Lucy McBath wins seat in Congress, was inspired to run in the wake of Parkland and after losing son to gun violence". ABC News.
  22. ^ See, for instance, a map of Gingrich's district in 1990
  23. ^ "Brandon Beach abruptly drops out of 6th District race in Georgia". Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  24. ^ "Democrats see golden opportunity to take Georgia Senate seat". The Hill.
  25. ^ "McBath passes on running for Senate". The Hill.
  26. ^ "A 2019 dash for political cash in Georgia ends as a new money push begins". AJC.
  27. ^ "U.S. Rep. McBath talks transit, guns, impeachment at Sandy Springs town hall". Reporter Newspapers. September 9, 2019.
  28. ^ "Georgia lawmaker sponsors bill to help students when school shuts down". Atlanta Journal Constitution.
  29. ^ "Members". New Democrat Coalition. Archived from the original on February 8, 2018. Retrieved 2019.
  30. ^ a b c d Tamar Hallerman (October 25, 2018). "Where 6th Congressional District candidates stand". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on October 29, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  31. ^ a b "McBath pledges bipartisanship at first town hall meeting". Atlanta Journal Constitution.
  32. ^ "Minimum wage vote could become defining 2020 issue in Georgia". Atlanta Journal Constitution.
  33. ^ "Rep. Lucy McBath, whose son was fatally shot, accused by Republicans of politicizing shootings". Washington Post.
  34. ^ "The Crucial Significance of Lucy McBath's Win in Georgia's Sixth Congressional District". The New Yorker.
  35. ^ "Here are the 137 Democrats who voted to kill an impeachment resolution against Trump". CNN.
  36. ^ "Lawmakers representing Cobb County vote along party lines in Trump impeachment inquir". Marieta Daily Journal. October 31, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  37. ^ Rogers, Alex (June 12, 2019). "She won her seat after her son was shot and killed. Now she's stuck in an impeachment debate". CNN. Retrieved 2019.
  38. ^ "McBath Statement During House Judiciary Committee Markup of Articles of Impeachment". Congresswoman Lucy McBath. Retrieved 2019.
  39. ^ Klar, Rebecca (December 11, 2019). "Georgia congresswoman invokes son's death during impeachment proceeding: I will fight for an America my son would be proud of". TheHill. Retrieved 2019.
  40. ^ "November 6, 2018 General Election". GA - Election Night Reporting. Georgia Secretary of State. November 10, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  41. ^ "McBath holds Town Hall Aimed at Veteran's Issues". The Cries.
  42. ^ a b Bonds Staples, Gracie (April 2, 2014). "God has told me I will be OK". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Atlanta, Georgia: Cox Media. Retrieved 2018.
  43. ^ Cooper Eastman, Susan (February 24, 2014). "Parents of dead teen vow to fight Florida's self-defense law". Reuters. Retrieved 2018.
  44. ^ ""We Will Never Stop." Lucy McBath on Ending Gun Violence in America". Vogue.

Further reading

External links


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