The seat once occupied by Newt Gingrich will now be held by progressive gun safety advocate Lucy McBath.
Lucy McBath, a fierce advocate of gun safety, will now join a growing Democratic majority to represent Georgia's 6th Congressional District — a seat Republicans had occupied for 30 years, going back to Newt Gingrich's 1978 election.
Republican Rep. Karen Handel, a Trump loyalist who launched virulent attacks on women's health and rights, has conceded defeat after serving less than one full term in Congress.
McBath is part of a group known as the Mothers of the Movement, a group of black women who have lost children to gun violence perpetrated by police officers and vigilantes. She will be the first person of color to represent Georgia's 6th District, and just the third African-American woman to represent Georgia in the U.S. House.
McBath told Buzzfeed that the murder of her 17-year-old son, Jordan Davis, was a catalyst for running for office. Davis was shot and killed by a white man who thought Davis was playing music too loudly outside a Florida gas station.
McBath, who is also a breast cancer survivor, campaigned on a platform calling for more gun safety legislation and protecting access to affordable health care.
Handel, on the other hand, was bankrolled by the NRA, and used her brief stint in Congress to rubber-stamp the Trump agenda.
And before that, Handel had a long track record of attacking women's access to health care.
Handel pushed a radical anti-Planned Parenthood agenda that nearly destroyed the breast cancer foundation Susan G. Komen for the Cure, where she served as the vice president for public policy.
Handle pushed the Komen Foundation to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood's breast cancer screening program, a decision that severely damaged the organization's reputation.
The Komen Foundation reversed the decision and forced Handel to resign.
Handel ran for Congress in a 2017 special election, narrowly defeating Democrat Jon Ossoff. The race captivated the attention of the nation because Democrats came very close to taking a very red seat.
While Ossoff's defeat was heartbreaking for Democrats, it didn't stop the progressive energy that was palpable at the time — and that momentum only continued to build after the special election.
Thanks to the hard work of Lucy McBath, Stacey Abrams, and Democrats, progress is on the march in this author's home state of Georgia.
Published with permission of The American Independent.