Cori Bush has unseated Democratic Party congressman William Lacy Clay, defeating a political dynasty that has represented its district in St Louis, Missouri, for more than half a century.
The race ended on Tuesday night, though far from a landslide, with Bush, a former nurse, edging the incumbent out by a mere three percent of the vote. The primary win will likely guarantee her a seat in Congress since it is a ‘blue’ district, demographically favoring the Democratic Party over the Republicans.
The outgoing Lacy Clay was first elected in 2000, right after his father Bill retired following thirty-two years of service. Clay Jr’s political entrenchment and numerous endorsements from established politicians such as California Senator Kamala Harris, and from organizations like Planned Parenthood, made his defeat stunning for the general public, especially as, in 2018, he already defeated Bush, and by about twenty percent of the vote.
The 2018 race formed part of the political documentary ‘Knock Down the House’, known for covering congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ path to victory. Since then Bush, a one-time homeless person, became a prominent figure in the US Left, gaining support from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, the Democratic Socialists of America and the anti-corporate Justice Democrats. This connection Bush seemingly honored, by tweeting the slogan of Sanders’ failed campaign to announce her own victory.
Not me, US.
— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) August 5, 2020
Bush originally gained a political profile during the 2014 protests in the city of Ferguson, which were sparked over the fatal shooting of a black eighteen-year-old Michael Brown by a white police officer.
Her victory is yet another big achievement for the left wing of the Democratic Party. In July, school principal Jamaal Bowman crushed the sixteen-term New York congressman Eliot Engel in a landslide victory.
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