Nurse and Black Lives Matter activist Cori Bush was on Tuesday elected to Missouri’s 1st Congressional District, making her the first Black Congresswoman in the history of Missouri.
Democrat Bush defeated Republican candidate Anthony Rogers by a 79% to 19% margin in the race, according to data provided by CNN. Missouri’s 1st congressional district covers St. Louis and parts of St. Louis County.
“It’s unbelievable,” Bush told St. Louis Public Radio after speaking with voters in Clayton. “It’s amazing. But it’s also sad. Because it’s 2020 and I’ll be the first woman in the district and the first Black congresswoman ever for the state. But I wouldn’t change this moment to be able to be here.”
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One time homeless with a destitute family, Bush secured the Democratic party nomination in Missouri‘s 1st District in August this year after overcoming 10-term congressman William Lacy Clay who had 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.
That was Bush’s second time of campaigning against Clay, having lost to him by over 20 percentage points in 2018. But in 2020, Bush seemed 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, 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.
“As the first Black woman and also the first nurse and single mother to have the honor to represent Missouri in the United States Congress, let me say this: To the Black women, the Black girls, the nurses, the essential workers, the single mothers, this is our moment,” she said on Tuesday.