Bush overcame 10-term congressman William Lacy Clay who has held the seat since 2001. Clay took over from his father William Clay Sr. the civil rights activist who also represented the same district for 32 years.
In her speech after securing victory on Tuesday, Bush said: “It is historic that this year, of all years, we’re sending a Black, working-class single mother, who has been fighting for Black lives since Ferguson, all the way to the halls of Congress.”
“We decided that we the people have the answers, and we will lead from the front lines,” Bush added.
This is Bush’s second time of asking having lost to Clay by over 20 percentage points in 2018. But in 2020, Bush seems to have received double the efforts from two years ago from the Justice Democrats, a political action committee focused on pushing progressives to Congress.
Bush was able to raise $562,309 in campaign donations, for instance, closing in on receipts from two years.
“This is a huge upset and another groundbreaking win for our movement against a corporate-backed political dynasty,” Alexander Rojas, executive director of Justice Democrats said.
Justice Democrats were the support group behind political sensation Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez when she defeated powerhouse congressman Joe Crowley in 2018, and Jamaal Bowman, a Black educator who triumphed over longtime Democratic congressman Eliot Engel to secure nomination in New York‘s 16th district.
Bush, 44, came into prominence at the Ferguson protests after the shooting of Michael Brown in 2014. It was the inception of the Black Lives Matter movement across the United States.
Before that, she and her husband had been homeless due to losing their home in Missouri. Soon after homelessness, Bush’s marriage fell apart but she has gone on to become a certified nurse and a pastor.