ST. LOUIS – Cori Bush, who scored a spectacular upset against incumbent William “Lacy” Clay in the Democratic primary, has been elected to the US House of Representatives.
Bush defeated Republican Anthony Rogers and Libertarian Alex Furman in the general election.
Democrats have represented Missouri’s 1st Congressional District since 1949. The district has been represented by Clay or his father for a half-century. Bill Clay served 32 years before retiring in 2000. William “Lacy” Clay, 64, was elected that year.
Bush ran against Clay in 2018 but mustered less than 40 percent of the vote in the primary. But in 2020, Bush’s supporters said protests over the death of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis and outrage over racial injustice finally pushed her over the edge.
Bush received 49 percent of the vote while Clay got 46 percent in the August 2020 primary.
She got involved in politics in 2014 following the shooting death of Ferguson teenager Michael Brown by local police. She ran for the US Senate in 2016 but lost to Jason Kander in the primary.
In 2001, Bush became ill while pregnant with her second child and had to quit her job at a preschool. When she and her then-husband were evicted from a rental home, the couple, their newborn, and 14-month-old son lived out of a Ford Explorer for several months.
Eventually, the couple divorced. Bush went on to earn a nursing degree Lutheran School of Nursing. She also became a pastor.
Bush, 44, is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America.