In 2012, McBath’s 17-year-old son, Jordan Davis, was shot to death by a 49-year-old man who fired into a car full of teenagers after arguing with them over loud music. A jury could not reach a verdict in the first trial of the shooter, Michael Dunn, but in a second trial he was convicted of first-degree murder.
McBath, 58, a former flight attendant and human resources manager for Delta Air Lines, made a last-minute decision to jump into the race for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, which was the scene of an expensive, fierce battle by Democrats to win the seat in a special election last year. The seat, which had been held by a Republican since 1979, was won by Republican Karen Handel. On Thursday, she conceded to McBath, who edged her out by just over 3,000 votes.
McBath, who had been planning a bid for the Georgia state legislature, said she decided to run for Congress after February’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, which left 17 people dead. She received heavy financial support from the political action arm of Everytown for Gun Safety. Members of the affiliated Moms Demand Action knocked on doors for her during the campaign, and student anti-gun-violence activists also supported her.
Here is McBath’s full statement:
It is unfortunately not surprising that on the very same day I officially became a congresswoman-elect, other families in this country are receiving the same exact call that I did six years ago when I learned my son had been murdered.The tragedy in California is one of far too many. I grieve with the families affected and for every life lost. I pray that Congress will support me in taking action to prevent these tragedies from affecting the lives of so many. I am deeply thankful for all of the first responders.As a congresswoman, but more importantly as a mother, I pledge to do every thing I can to make our communities safer. The most important title I am ever going to hold is Jordan’s mom – and that is what drives me to keep going. Knowing firsthand the deep pain of losing a loved one to gun violence is what drove me to stand up. Then, after watching the tragedy of Parkland, I knew I had to do more. That is why I am here today.Ninety-eight Americans die every single day to gun violence. To all survivors in this country – I stand with you. To every American concerned about the safety of their families – I pledge to fight as hard as I can for you and your family.Lucy McBath