Politics

In 6th District, Gun Control Activist McBath Opposing NRA-backed Handel

Lucy McBath, left, and her husband Ron Davis participate in a gun control rally as part of the "No More Names: National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence," a 25-state national bus tour, at the Georgia Capitol, Monday, June 24, 2013, in Atlanta.
Lucy McBath, left, and her husband Ron Davis participate in a gun control rally as part of the "No More Names: National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence," a 25-state national bus tour, at the Georgia Capitol, Monday, June 24, 2013, in Atlanta.
Credit Jaime Henry-White / Associated Press
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A Democratic gun control activist whose son was shot to death is trying to unseat a Georgia Republican congresswoman backed by the National Rifle Association.

Lucy McBath will challenge Rep. Karen Handel this fall after winning a runoff election in the 6th District of metro Atlanta. McBath defeated fellow Democrat Kevin Abel on Tuesday.

While McBath supports gun control, the NRA has supported Handel, citing her pro-Second Amendment stance.

Democrats hope to upset Handel in the Republican-leaning district after her close race with Democrat Jon Ossoff last year.

Lucy McBath will challenge Karen Handel this fall after winning a runoff election in Georgia’s 6th District. (John Bazemore/Associated Press)

In 2012, McBath’s son, Jordan Davis, was shot and killed at a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida, by a white man angry that the 17-year-old African-American youth and his friends were playing music too loudly in their car. Michael Dunn used the “stand-your-ground” law in his defense, and was initially found not guilty of murdering Davis, but was convicted in a retrial and is serving a life sentence.

The case made national headlines as part of the then-emerging Black Lives Matter movement. McBath endorsed Hillary Clinton as part of the sisterhood of black women whose sons were shot to death by white men or police officers known as the “Mothers of the Movement.” McBath has also spoken out against gun violence as a spokeswoman for Everytown for Gun Safety.

The group’s political action arm, which partnered with BlackPAC, an African-American voter turnout organization, spent more than $1.2 million in the race. McBath is also supported by EMILY’s List and Higher Heights, the political action committee aimed at getting more black women candidates elected and galvanizing black women in crucial elections across the country.

McBath, a first-time candidate, is among nearly 50 black women running for Congress in November, and part of the record wave of women running across the country. She could be boosted by the national momentum around Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who would become America’s first black woman governor if elected.