The upset of the veteran congressman from St. Louis sent tremors through the Democratic establishment.
Since 2001 William Lacy Clay has represented Missouri’s 1st congressional district, he will not represent them after November. Lacy Clay proceeded his father’s Bill Clays 32 years in congress, and on Tuesday night Cori Bush dethroned the dynasty.
Cori Bush, an activist and a vocal leader during the Ferguson protests pulled off the upset. Ms. Bush, a single mother, and nurse won with 49% of the vote to Mr. Clay’s 45%.
Ms. Bush attempted to unseat Mr. Clay in 2018 but rode the wave of social injustice to defeat the establishment candidate. Amongst Ms. Bush’s policies, she strongly supports the defunding of police.
Ms. Bush’s victory is reminiscent of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York who defeated the 20-year veteran Representative Joseph Crowley in 2018, and Jamaal Bowman, who last month won a primary against Representative Eliot L. Engel, a powerful committee chairman in his 16th term representing a district straddling the Bronx and Westchester.
A single mother, former nurse, and pastor, Ms. Bush would be the first Black woman to represent the state of Missouri in Congress.
“Tonight, Missouri’s 1st District has decided that an incremental approach isn’t going to work any longer,” Ms. Bush told supporters. “We decided that we the people have the answers, and we will lead from the front lines.”
Ms. Bush campaigned 400 days, even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. She campaigned on a platform of social justice, defunding police, and community awareness.
Ms. Bush will be the democratic candidate in November.