Lucy McBath, a Democrat who in 2018 wrested away Newt Gingrich’s old suburban Atlanta U.S. House district from the GOP, is a torchbearer for the Democratic insurgency into once-prime Republican territory. Georgia’s GOP-controlled General Assembly responded by drawing a much more Republican 6th Congressional District for McBath, a former flight attendant who rose to prominence as a gun control activist after her son was fatally shot at a Florida gas station in a dispute over loud music.
McBath announced Monday that she was jumping to a different suburban Atlanta district, this one drawn to heavily favor Democrats. She’s telling supporters that her mission is too important to step aside.
“I refuse to stand down. We must fight Republicans every step of the way, and now is not the time to lose a mother on a mission in Congress,” McBath said in a statement. “I made a promise to Jordan after he died. I promised that I would do everything in my power to prevent the tragedy that happened to my family from reaching any other.”
“What does Lucy McBath really have to offer?” 6th District Republican Party Chairman Nathan Porter asked. “What has she done for the district other than vote along Democratic Party lines?”
University of Georgia political scientist Charles Bullock, who has written a book on redistricting, said Republicans retreated to a “defensible position” amid unfavorable demographic and political changes.
One McBath advantage is her backing by Michael Bloomberg-affiliated Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun control group for which McBath once worked. Everytown groups spent more than $6.3 million to aid McBath’s campaigns in 2018 and 2020, records show.
“I can’t imagine Congress without her,” said Adrienne Penake, a 6th District resident and Georgia elections lead for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, an Everytown-associated group. “I can’t imagine it without her voice being there. How that plays out, I have no idea.”