Cori Bush Is the First Black Congresswoman in Missouri

She defeated a longtime incumbent in Missouri's first congressional district.

Cori Bush - LEAD

Progressive Democratic congressional candidate Cori Bush has become the first Black congresswoman in Missouri, after defeating longtime incumbent Congressman William Lacy Clay earlier this year. The registered nurse and Black Lives Matter activist will represent the first congressional district, the same district where she led protests against the police killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson.

Justice Democrats, a progressive political action committee, broke the news on Twitter, noting that Bush is the "first-ever recruited Justice Democrat candidate." The Associated Press confirmed the win.

In August, Bush bested Clay, a 10-term Democrat in the primary election. Bush, 44, also ran for office against Clay in the 2018 midterms and lost, a journey chronicled in the documentary Knock Down the House, which also featured New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's first run for Congress.

In an interview published in October, Bush told Rolling Stone she never thought she'd go into politics after watching her father, a mayor and city councilman, work long, thankless hours.

"I went to become a nurse after working in child care for a long time and was working with the unhoused population, was working fighting human trafficking," she said. "And then Michael Brown was murdered."

After getting involved in protests and witnessing police brutality during marches, she recalled thinking, "How do we get the heart of those people who have been out here on the ground? Who’ve been protesting, putting their lives and livelihood on the line? Those people who just wanted to see justice for Michael Brown and for Black lives? They don’t want to see the next hashtag … How do we get that heart into these seats? Somebody from here has to run."

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