Progressive Democrat Cori Bush, a leader in the 2014 Ferguson uprising over the police killing of Michael Brown, made history Tuesday after becoming the first Black woman to represent Missouri in Congress.
Bush clobbered Republican Anthony Rogers with a staggering 85 percent of the vote (or more than 80,000 votes) in Missouri’s 1st Congressional District, which includes St. Louis and Ferguson. The win follows her stunning primary upset in August over 10-term incumbent Congressman William Lacy Clay, whose family has represented the St. Louis-area congressional district for more than 50 years.
The single mother and nurse was formerly homeless and stayed on the front lines of protests against the police killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown. As the election approached, the congresswoman-elect was touted by some as a potential new member of “The Squad,” the crew of progressive lawmakers that has so far included Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Ayanna Pressley. All four held onto their congressional seats in Tuesday’s election.
During Bush’s acceptance speech Tuesday night, she told supporters, “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 added: “Our America will be led not by the small-mindedness of a powerful few, but the imagination of a mass movement that includes all of us.”
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