In a stunning upset, Republican Rep. Karen Handel has conceded defeat in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District.
“After carefully reviewing all of the election results data, it is clear that I came up a bit short on Tuesday,” Handel said in a statement. “Congratulations to Representative-Elect Lucy McBath and send her only good thoughts and much prayer for the journey that lies ahead for her.”
Handel has lost a number of elections, including for Georgia governor in 2010. She previously served as Secretary Of State and Chairwoman of the Fulton County Commission.
This news comes just shy of 18 months since Handel beat Jon Ossoff in a nationally-watched contest that became the most expensive House race in U.S. history.
Democrat Lucy McBath will now become the first African-American to hold the seat in a one-time ruby red conservative district that sent Newt Gingrich to Congress.
The last time a Democrat held the seat was 1979.
McBath is the mother of slain teenager Jordan Davis, who was shot and killed at a Jacksonville GATE gas station in 2012. A White man, Michael David Dunn, was eventually convicted by a jury in a case that had clear racial undertones.
After Jordan’s senseless and tragic murder, McBath said she decided to become an advocate for gun control. She found a wanting audience in the 6th District, an upper-income Atlanta suburb in Cobb county.
McBath claimed victory yesterday after reports surfaced that only about 2,500 absentee and provisional ballots were left to be counted in the district; by that time, McBath’s lead was closer to 3,000 votes.
McBath posted a tweet early this morning that her surprising win is “just the beginning”:
This win is just the beginning. We’ve sent a strong message to the entire country. Absolutely nothing – no politician & no special interest – is more powerful than a mother on a mission.— Lucy McBath (@LucyWins2018) November 8, 2018
Sign up w/ #TeamLucy below. We still have so much work left to do. https://t.co/yH2MIi3FTi pic.twitter.com/zw0cs6NQa4