After an incredibly close race that was too close to call on election night, Democratic challenger Lucy McBath is finally declaring victory in the Georgia 6th Congressional District race and has unseated Republican Karen Handel.
McBath first came into the national spotlight after her son, Jordan Davis, was shot and killed at a gas station in 2012, over a dispute about loud music. As a vocal gun control activist, she’s often cited February’s high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, as what pushed her to jump into the race and run for congress.
Tuesday evening, Handel maintained a slim lead ahead of McBath, but by the time the sun came up the tide had turned.
Wednesday morning, McBath told her supporters that the race was most likely headed to a recount. Then launched a fundraising campaign via social media to prepare for another round. But shortly before 2 p.m. McBath’s campaign issued a statement.
“After a hard fought race, I am honored to announce that the people of Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District have put their trust in my vision for the future of our district and nation,” the statement begins.
“The voters responded to my commitment to put aside partisan fights for the good of the American people. Six years ago, I went from a Marietta mom to a mother on a mission. After my son was lost to gun violence, I stood up and started demanding more. After Parkland, I was compelled to enter this race for Congress – to provide leadership that would be about the business of putting lives over profit. I vow to make that my top priority.
I look forward to representing the people of Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District, and I pledge to work hard fighting for every single person and family in this district.”
My son and experiences are what propelled me to stand up to be the voice for #GA06.
— Lucy McBath (@LucyWins2018) November 6, 2018
According to the AJC, unofficial results had McBath approximately 3,000 votes ahead, which is still within recount range and left the republican incumbent with hope.
“I have a knack for the close ones, y’all. There are still precincts coming in from north Fulton,” Handel posted in one of her last message to supporters Tuesday evening.
And when news broke that McBath was claiming victory on Wednesday, Handel contested it by tweeting, “Given the close results of our race, and the fact that the official results at this time are within the 1% threshold where a recount is possible, we believe it is prudent to review and assess all data before making additional actions or statements.”
However, Thursday morning, she finally conceded and sent a message congratulating McBath on her victory.
“After carefully reviewing all of the election results, it is clear that I came up a bit short on Tuesday,” she tweeted. “Congratulations to Representative-Elect Lucy McBath & I send her only good thoughts and much prayer for the journey that lies ahead for her.”
After carefully reviewing all of the election results, it is clear that I came up a bit short on Tuesday. Congratulations to Representative-Elect Lucy McBath & I send her only good thoughts and much prayer for the journey that lies ahead for her.
— Karen Handel (@karenhandel) November 8, 2018
Democrat Lucy McBath is declaring victory over Rep. Karen Handel in #GA06. No major news outlet had called the race. SOS office has McBath about 3,000 votes ahead, still within 1 percent recount threshold #gapol pic.twitter.com/J1exg8tV3k
— Tamar Hallerman (@ajconwashington) November 7, 2018