Lucy McBath never imagined she’d run for Congress. In a way, she wishes she didn’t feel she had to.
“I really wish that Jordan were here; I really wish that,” says McBath, who lost her teen son to violence. “I would have been watching him graduate from college and go on with his life.”
Six years ago, McBath was working as a flight attendant, thinking about retirement, when her 17-year-old son Jordan was shot and killed.
A man fired into the car he was sitting in with his friends at a gas station after an argument over loud music.
McBath had only thought about gun laws, one time before her son’s death. It was when Trayvon Martin was shot and killed.
“But upstairs, Jordan said to me, ‘Mom, that’s not going to happen to me. Mom I’m going to be good.’”
After Jordan’s death, McBath became a gun safety advocate, speaking with lawmakers and groups across the country.
But it wasn’t until the shooting at Parkland that she considered a life in public office.
“And all I kept thinking is that these kids are standing up,” she says. “Why are they the ones that are having to fight for their lives?”
With no experience or resources, the idea of running was scary. However, McBath said she turned to faith to move beyond her fear.
“I believe if I’m in God’s will and I’m doing what he’s calling me to do, then I have to move beyond the fear.”
McBath won the Democratic Primary, then the runoff. Now, she’s facing incumbent Republican Karen Handel in a close race for the 6th Congressional District seat that’s long been held by a Republican.
McBath says her son is with her every step of the way.