I need to get back to the phones to talk to supporters and earn the support of my community. But thank you all for your heartwarming messages. I deeply appreciate all your tweets and messages. We're all in this together. Let's win this thing. #gapol pic.twitter.com/Otb98hhtyy— Lucy McBath (@LucyWins2018) July 25, 2018
Lucy McBath turned into a gun control activist after he teenage son, Jordan, was fatally shot in 2012 at a gas station. Now, she’s the democratic nominee for Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District.
McBath served as a spokesperson for Everytown for Gun Safety and witnessed firsthand how a criminal with a gun can rip what’s most precious from us in a blink of an eye. So when the Parkland, Florida, shooting happened, the former flight attendant knew just what to do.
"I never expected this to happen, but I know that in light of all my experiences, to not to do anything is a tragedy in itself," she told reporters.
On Tuesday, McBath beat Democratic candidate Kevin Abel by about 2,000 votes. On Twitter, she thanked her main inspiration.
"I am at a loss for words. Thank you to my supporters, friends & family. And I want to thank my dear Jordan, my rock & inspiration," she wrote.
I am at a loss for words. Thank you to my supporters, friends & family. And I want to thank my dear Jordan, my rock & inspiration. We deserve better representation in DC, and I intend to show the good people of #GA06 what a tough, determined mother can do. On to November! pic.twitter.com/OqXCbw53cu— Lucy McBath (@LucyWins2018) July 25, 2018
Her district could be a tough one to flip, considering it hasn’t been represented by a Democrat since 1979. Karen Handel, the Republican McBath hopes to defeat, beat her Democratic opponent Jon Ossoff last year, becoming the first Republican woman to represent the state in Washington, D.C.
The fact McBath is fighting for gun control in light of so many mass shootings may give her an edge against her opponent though.
I lost my son Jordan to senseless gun violence in 2012. I battled and defeated breast cancer--twice. In contrast, my opponent proudly touts her NRA "A" rating and worked her entire career to defund Planned Parenthood. The choice in #GA06 cannot be clearer. But I need your help. pic.twitter.com/1FjCdpBEgi— Lucy McBath (@LucyWins2018) July 25, 2018
After learning about Parkland, McBath said she felt tired of seeing parents like her in distress.
"I was just as angry and devastated ... with Santa Fe as I was for Parkland because Jordan was the same age as all these children that have been gunned down," she explained.
Like McBath, many parents whose kids were killed in shootings are running for public seats to help implement changes to gun policies. Lori Alhadeff and Ryan Petty are two of them; they're running for seats on their county’s school board after their children were killed in Parkland.
"I'm sure you'll continue to see more parents like myself who are losing their children standing up," McBath said. "It's just going to happen."
With the endorsements of major Democratic figures such as Sens. Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand, as well as Everytown for Gun Violence playing an active role in her campaign, McBath could have a real shot at winning.
Despite her gun control advocacy, she even explained she’s not against firearms.
“The thing about it is that I'm not against guns. I’m not against the Second Amendment. I’m not against law-abiding gun owners and hunters owning their guns,” she said.
What she stands for is to restrict people who “want to use their guns in a way that is criminal.”
When attacked for being a single-issue candidate, McBath added she’s also concerned about the immigration issue affecting thousands of families at the border.
“I know what it's like to tear families apart from gun violence — we shouldn’t be doing that with immigration,” she said.
It’s clear McBath has her heart in the right place. And the fact Democrats in her district picked her as their candidate shows they are willing to see her through.
With the gun control debate heating up thanks to the young advocates rallying up the crowds nationwide, it's easy to see more people like McBath getting motivated to run for public offices.