Karen Handel Loses Seat to BLM Mom, Lucy McBath, Who Spoke At DNC

Chris Menahan
InformationLiberation
Nov. 10, 2018

Republican Rep Karen Handel, who defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff in a contentious special election in Georgia's 6th congressional district last year, lost her seat to Lucy McBath, who was one of the Black Lives Matter moms who spoke at the Democratic National Convention in 2016.

McBath gave her speech in support of Hillary Clinton while being flanked by Michael Brown's mother Lezley McSpadden, Trayvon Martin's mother Sybrina Fulton, Sandra Bland's mother Geneva Reed-Veal and others.



From CNBC:
Republican Rep. Karen Handel conceded to Democratic challenger Lucy McBath in Georgia's tight 6th District election on Thursday.

McBath is a gun control activist. Her son was shot and killed at a gas station in 2012 over a dispute about loud music.

[...]The district drew national attention and a flood of campaign money from both sides in a widely watched special election in 2017.

With some $8.4 million in campaign funds, Handel outspent McBath by 5 to 1. The race also drew $3 million more in outside spending.

The district went for Trump in 2016 by a slim 1.5-point margin after heavily supporting Republicans Mitt Romney in 2012 and John McCain in 2008 by double digits.
Here's the results:



More from Vox:
McBath won her primary runoff earlier this year, but national coverage of her race initially paled in comparison to that of Jon Ossoff. In 2017, he ran against Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state, in a special election to replace previous Rep. Tom Price. While local and national Democrats focused on Ossoff's campaign as a referendum on Trump, that message was not enough to put him over the top in Georgia.

There was a chance that the 2018 contest against incumbent Handel could go a similar route. As she did with Ossoff, Handel argued that McBath wasn't truly a resident of the district (McBath previously lived with her husband in Tennessee) and that she couldn't represent its voters. When McBath criticized Handel for taking money from the National Rifle Association, Handel countered that McBath had accepted money from Everytown for Gun Safety. Handel also attempted to distance herself from Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare, arguing that the vote happened before she took office.

In an election cycle dominated by national politics, McBath ran a deeply personal campaign Where Ossoff's campaign failed to connect with enough local voters to win, McBath succeeded. As a black woman competing in Georgia at the same time as governor candidate Stacey Abrams, McBath was likely helped by the top of the ticket. But beyond that, McBath used her personal stories of losing her son and surviving breast cancer twice, to connect with voters. McBath made inroads in a majority-white congressional district and gained national attention, with the New York Times arguing that she was "redefining social justice in politics this year."
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