Lucy McBath
Lucy McBath, official portrait, 116th Congress.jpg
Official portrait, 2019
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 6th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded byKaren Handel
Personal details
Born
Lucia Kay Holman

(1960-06-01) June 1, 1960 (age 62)
Joliet, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Ronald Davis (div.)
Curtis McBath
(m. 2008)
Children2, including Jordan Davis
Residence(s)Marietta, Georgia, U.S.
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 from Georgia's 6th congressional district. The district, which was once represented by Republicans such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and 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. McBath 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 black 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 and Handel faced each other again in the 2020 election, and McBath won.

On May 24, 2022, McBath won a redistricting race against fellow incumbent Carolyn Bourdeaux in Georgia's 7th congressional district.[1]

Early life and career

McBath was born in Joliet, Illinois, on June 1, 1960.[2][3] 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.[4]

McBath attended Virginia State University and graduated with a bachelor's degree in political science in 1982.[5] After college, she worked as an intern for former Virginia governor Douglas Wilder.[5] In the 1990s, she became a flight attendant for Delta Air Lines and relocated to Atlanta, where Delta is headquartered.[3]

Political activism

Lucy McBath at a film discussion in 2015.
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.[6] Her son's killer, Michael Dunn, was convicted of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.[7]

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,[8] and supported the My Brother's Keeper Challenge.[9] 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.[10] McBath opposed campus carry legislation in Florida.[11]

McBath campaigned actively for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election[10] and spoke on her behalf at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.[12][13]

McBath created a foundation, Champion In The Making Legacy, to help high school graduates continue their education and training.[11]

McBath appeared in a 2015 documentary film, 3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets, that explored her son's shooting.[14] She also appeared in the 2015 documentary film The Armor of Light, in which Rob Schenck, an anti-abortion Evangelical minister, discusses gun violence in America; The Armor of Light won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Social Issue Documentary.[15]

U.S. House of Representatives

Elections

2018

See also: 2018 United States House of Representatives elections in Georgia § District 6

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.[16]

After initially planning to run for the Georgia House of Representatives against incumbent Republican Sam Teasley in 2018, 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.[3][8][17][18]

Although the 6th has historically tilted Republican, Handel was thought to be vulnerable. Trump barely carried the district in 2016. Handel defeated Jon Ossoff in a hotly contested 2017 special election 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 defeated Kevin Abel, the second-place finisher, in the July 24 runoff election[19] with 53.7% of the vote.[20]

McBath faced Handel in the November general election and declared victory with 159,268 votes, surpassing Handel's 156,396 with 100% of precincts reporting.[21][20] 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% of the vote in a general election for the district since Gingrich left office in 1999.[22] A number of reports described McBath as the first Democrat to represent this district since Gingrich won it in 1978.[23] But for his first seven terms, Gingrich represented a district that stretched across a swath of exurban and rural territory south and west of Atlanta;[24] he transferred to the reconfigured 6th after the 1990 census.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution called McBath's victory "the biggest Georgia Democratic upset of the 2018 midterms."[25]

2020

See also: 2020 United States House of Representatives elections in Georgia § District 6

McBath was discussed as a possible candidate in the 2020 Georgia Senate special election.[26] According to The Hill, Democrats considered her "one of the top potential contenders" for the seat. But she declined to run for that office, saying she preferred to continue focusing on her work in the House.[27]

McBath raised $620,000 in the fourth quarter of 2019. As of the end of 2019, she had $1.3 million cash on hand for her reelection bid. 93% of her contributions came from small-dollar donors.[28]

She won the November 3 general election with 54.2% of the vote in a rematch against Karen Handel.[29] She got a significant boost from Joe Biden carrying the district with 55% of the vote,[30] the first time a Democrat had carried the district at the presidential level in its present configuration as a northern suburban district.

2022

See also: 2022 United States House of Representatives elections in Georgia § District 7

In the 2021 redistricting session, McBath's district was significantly altered by Republican state legislators. Its share of heavily Democratic DeKalb County was cut out, replaced by conservative exurban counties such as Forsyth and Cherokee. The new configuration shifts the district from one that voted for Biden by double digits to one that voted for Trump by double digits, likely securing the seat for Republicans in the 2022 elections. Reports speculated that McBath could run in another district.

In November 2021, McBath announced that she would run for reelection in the 7th district. Currently held by fellow Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux, the district absorbed most of the more Democratic portions of the old 6th in redistricting, making it significantly bluer than its predecessor. McBath defeated Bordeaux in the Democratic primary.

Tenure

McBath cosponsored the Honoring American Veterans in Extreme Need ("HAVEN") Act, which gives disabled veterans bankruptcy protections.[31]

McBath co-sponsored legislation to extend Pell Grant eligibility to college students if their school closed or if school officials committed institutional fraud or misconduct.[32]

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".[34]

Health care

McBath supports changes to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. She opposes Medicare for All.[35]

McBath supports expanding Medicaid in Georgia, and would lower the age of Medicare eligibility to 55.[34]

Economy

McBath has said she is critical of some of the 2017 Republican tax cuts, but would like to make the temporary middle-class tax cuts permanent.[34]

McBath voted for the Raise the Wage Act, which would increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per 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.[36]

Gun control

McBath initially decided to run for Congress because she believed the government was not doing enough to prevent gun violence. She supports universal background checks before purchasing a firearm, as well as red flag laws to keep guns out of the hands of people at risk of violence.[34]

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."[37]

Speaking during 2022 in regards to further efforts to support gun control she made exaggerated claims regarding Assault Rifles stating "exit wounds can be a foot wide" and that after persons are shot by one that "many of the bodies no longer exist.", these claims were reposted on her twitter[38] drawing widespread criticism an rebuttal from many persons affiliated with gun rights movements, including United States Special Forces TACP member Mike Jones [39]

Immigration

McBath opposes abolishing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE).[35]

Donald Trump

Before 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 to vote to kill an impeachment resolution.[40]

In October 2019, McBath voted in favor of launching an impeachment inquiry into Trump.[41] 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 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."[42]

On December 18, 2019, McBath voted for articles of impeachment against Trump on the House Judiciary Committee.[43]

Joe Biden

As of August 2021, McBath had voted in line with President Joe Biden's stated position 100% of the time.[44]

Electoral history

Democratic primary results, 2018
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, 2018
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[45]
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
Georgia's 6th congressional district, 2020[46]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Lucy McBath (incumbent) 216,775 54.5
Republican Karen Handel 180,329 45.4
Total votes 397,104 100.0
Democratic hold

Personal life

McBath grew up in a military family; her father, brother, nephew and cousin all served in the US military in some capacity.[47] McBath has survived two bouts of breast cancer.[48] She is married to Curtis McBath.[49] They live in Marietta.

McBath often speaks of tragedies she has faced. In 1993, she was rushed to the emergency room while pregnant with her first son, Lucien. She suffered a fetal demise and was admitted to the hospital to deliver Lucien naturally. A year later, she was pregnant again and gave birth to her son Jordan.[50] McBath is deeply religious and named him after the River Jordan in the Bible.[51] In 2012, Jordan was murdered in what became known as the "Loud Music Shooting."[48]

See also

References

  1. ^ Mitchell, Tia (May 24, 2022). "Lucy McBath defeats Carolyn Bourdeaux in Georgia's 7th District primary". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved May 26, 2022.
  2. ^ "Lucy McBath's Biography". Des Moines, IA: Vote Smart. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  3. ^ 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 May 24, 2018.
  4. ^ Mayer, Madhu (February 19, 2014). "Former Joliet resident morn's loss of son, lack of justice". The Times Weekly. Retrieved May 25, 2018.
  5. ^ 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 July 9, 2018.
  6. ^ Tienabeso, Seni (February 17, 2014). "'I Was the Victim,' Says Loud Music Trial Shooter in Jailhouse Phone Call". abcnews.go.com. ABCNew. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
  7. ^ "Florida Supreme Court rejects appeal for man convicted of killing Jacksonville teen Jordan Davis". June 23, 2020.
  8. ^ 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 May 24, 2018.
  9. ^ "To Raise, Love, and Lose a Black Child". The Atlantic. October 8, 2014. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Mothers Fueled by Personal Loss Turn Focus to Political Change". NBC News. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  11. ^ a b Jaimee Swift (June 13, 2017). "Jordan Davis' Mother, Lucia McBath, Speaks On Gun Reform And Jordan's Legacy | HuffPost". Huffington Post. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  12. ^ Drabold, Will (July 26, 2016). "DNC: Meet The Mothers Of The Movement". Time. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  13. ^ Torres, Kristina (July 26, 2016). "Marietta mom of shooting victim to address gun violence Tuesday at DNC". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  14. ^ Blair, Ian F. (June 23, 2015). "'3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets' Examines the Murder of Jordan Davis". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  15. ^ "The armor of light". THE ARMOR OF LIGHT. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  16. ^ Fulwood III, Sam. "There are black women not named Oprah running for office across the country". ThinkProgress. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  17. ^ "'To not do anything is a tragedy': Mom who lost son to gun violence runs for Congress". ABC News. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  18. ^ Williams, Vanessa. "Citing Parkland shooting, anti-gun-violence activist is running for Congress in Georgia". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  19. ^ Ruiz, Sarah (May 23, 2018). "Gun Reform Advocate Lucy McBath Heads To Runoff For Georgia House Seat". Huffington Post. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  20. ^ a b Ruiz-Grossman, Sarah (July 24, 2018). "Gun Reform Advocate Lucy McBath Wins Democratic Nod For Georgia House Seat". Huffington Post. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  21. ^ Lucy McBath declares victory in 6th District race; Karen Handel not conceding
  22. ^ "Our Campaigns - Container Detail Page".
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ See, for instance, a map of Gingrich's district in 1990
  25. ^ "Brandon Beach abruptly drops out of 6th District race in Georgia". Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  26. ^ "Democrats see golden opportunity to take Georgia Senate seat". The Hill.
  27. ^ "McBath passes on running for Senate". The Hill.
  28. ^ "A 2019 dash for political cash in Georgia ends as a new money push begins". AJC.
  29. ^ Hubler, Shawn (November 4, 2020). "Lucy McBath Wins Georgia Rematch, Holding House Seat for Democrats". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  30. ^ Presidential results by congressional district from Daily Kos
  31. ^ "U.S. Rep. McBath talks transit, guns, impeachment at Sandy Springs town hall". Reporter Newspapers. September 9, 2019.
  32. ^ "Georgia lawmaker sponsors bill to help students when school shuts down". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  33. ^ "Members". New Democrat Coalition. Archived from the original on February 8, 2018. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  34. ^ 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 October 28, 2018.
  35. ^ a b "McBath pledges bipartisanship at first town hall meeting". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  36. ^ "Minimum wage vote could become defining 2020 issue in Georgia". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  37. ^ "The Crucial Significance of Lucy McBath's Win in Georgia's Sixth Congressional District". The New Yorker.
  38. ^ @RepLucyMcBath (July 20, 2022). "With assault rifles, exit wounds can be a foot wide. The victim's skull explodes on impact. Organs rupture, bones s…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  39. ^ "Politician claims Assault Rifles create foot wide exit wounds". YouTube.
  40. ^ Laffrey, Anna (July 18, 2019). "Here are the 137 Democrats who voted to kill an impeachment resolution against Trump". CNN. Retrieved May 2, 2021.
  41. ^ "Lawmakers representing Cobb County vote along party lines in Trump impeachment inquiry". Marieta Daily Journal. October 31, 2019. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
  42. ^ 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 November 19, 2019.
  43. ^ 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". The Hill. Retrieved December 22, 2019.
  44. ^ Bycoffe, Anna Wiederkehr and Aaron (April 22, 2021). "Does Your Member Of Congress Vote With Or Against Biden?". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved August 30, 2021.
  45. ^ "November 6, 2018 General Election". GA – Election Night Reporting. Georgia Secretary of State. November 10, 2018. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  46. ^ Raffensperger, Brad. "November 3, 2020 General Election Official Results - Totals include all Absentee and Provisional Ballots". Georgia Secretary of State. Retrieved November 22, 2020.
  47. ^ "McBath holds Town Hall Aimed at Veteran's Issues". Dunwoody Crier.
  48. ^ 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 May 24, 2018.
  49. ^ Cooper Eastman, Susan (February 24, 2014). "Parents of dead teen vow to fight Florida's self-defense law". Reuters. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  50. ^ McBath, Lucia (2020). Standing Our Ground: A Mother's Story. Simon & Schuster. p. 55. ISBN 9781501187797.
  51. ^ Johnson, Rebecca (November 11, 2019). ""We Will Never Stop." Lucy McBath on Ending Gun Violence in America". Vogue. Retrieved May 2, 2021.

Further reading