After her teenage son was killed in what has been called a racially motivated attack, mom Lucy McBath felt inspired to make a difference in her community. Now she’ll have an excellent opportunity to do so after being elected to the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
On Nov. 23, 2012, McBath’s 17-year-old son, Jordan Davis, was fatally shot while listening to music in an SUV with his friends in Jacksonville, Florida. The shooter, Michael Dunn, claimed he felt threatened when the group refused to turn down their car radio. Dunn, who is now serving a life sentence, was white. Jordan, along with his three unarmed friends, was black.
“I told him people might not really see you for who you really are,” she recalled to PEOPLE in an interview in April.
The attack started the Democrat, 58, down a path of activism, culminating in a successful run to represent Georgia’s 6th Congressional District outside Atlanta. On Thursday morning, McBath’s opponent, Republican incumbent Karen Handel, conceded the race.
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“After carefully reviewing all of the election results data, it is clear that I came up a bit short on Tuesday,” Handel wrote on Facebook. “Congratulations to Representative-Elect Lucy McBath and I send her only good thoughts and much prayer for the journey that lies ahead for her.”
McBath won by less than 3,000 votes, with 50.5 percent of the vote compared to Handel’s 49.5 percent, The New York Times reports.
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, McBath is the first black woman to represent her district and only the third in the history of Georgia to represent the state in Congress.
After her victory, McBath tweeted on Thursday, “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.”
Despite her role as a fledgling politician, the former flight attendant has said that she’s still Jordan’s mother before anything else.
“What I’m doing today is still mothering his legacy,” McBath said at a campaign even last month, according to the Times. “I’m extending what I would do for my son to my community.”