This morning, the nation was greeted by the news that the Karen Handel, the unrepentant bigot and radical Christian extremist who defeated Democratic darling Jon Ossof in the special election for Georgia’s 6th Congressional district last year had herself been toppled by a newcomer.
Gun Sense Candidate (and our former spokesmom!) @LucyWins2018 was elected to represent GA-06 in Congress!
Lucy McBath ran on a gun safety platform in the name of her son, Jordan Davis, who was shot and killed in 2012, and she'll be a fierce proponent of common-sense gun laws. pic.twitter.com/1glXowfuTQ
— Moms Demand Action (@MomsDemand) November 7, 2018
In the wee hours of the morning, the final votes were tallied and Democratic candidate Lucy McBath declared victory with a 3,000 vote lead. Karen Handel held out, hoping for a recount, but eventually conceded on Thursday.
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What makes that story even more satisfying and inspiring is what McBath’s victory represents.
McBath’s son, Jordan Davis, was gunned down by a white man in Florida for playing music “too loudly” in his car while parked at a gas station. The senseless death of her only child by a gun-toting racist drove her to get into politics and McBath became a prominent anti-gun activist with the Mothers of the Movement group and the Moms Demand Action Against Violence groups.
After working on Hillary Clinton’s election campaign and speaking at the DNC, McBath decided to run for office — and it was the massacre at Stoneman-Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that made McBath decide to challenge NRA-backed Karen Handel, who has been endorsed by and received nearly $50,000 in support from the gun lobby.
As well as a virulent gun activist, Karen Handel is a rabid anti-LGBT bigot who opposes same-sex marriage, opposes the adoption of children by same-sex couples, and voted to deny domestic partner benefits from gay families.
So not only can we revel in a little revenge for Ossoff’s loss, we can take inspiration from how one woman turned her horrifying tragedy into the energy to put her in a position to make real change in the world and hopefully protect others from befalling the same fate as her son.