Black Lives Matter organized Cori Bush ousted longtime Missouri Rep. William Lacy Clay in a stunning upset on Tuesday, The Associated Press reports.
Bush, who was once homeless, led protests in Ferguson after the police killing of Michael Brown.
Bush, who is a friend of New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, challenged Clay in 2018 but her bid fell short.
This time around, amid protests over the death of George Floyd and police racism, the 44-year-old eked out a win by about 3 percentage points for the seat.
With her primary win, Bush is expected to easily win the general election in the heavily Democratic district, which includes St. Louis and north St. Louis County.
Bush was backed by progressives:
Bush was backed by Justice Democrats and Fight Corporate Monopolies, two political action committees backing progressive primary challengers.
Bush had campaigned for Sen. Bernie Sanders during his primary bid.
“They counted us out,” she said on Tuesday. “They called me — I’m just the protester, I’m just the activist with no name, no title and no real money. That’s all they said that I was. But St. Louis showed up today.”
Spokeswoman Keenan Korth said voters were “galvanized.”
“They’re ready to turn the page on decades of failed leadership,” Korth said.
Seat was in Clay family for decades:
The seat has been held by the Clay family for about 50 years.
Clay’s father, Bill Clay, was one of the founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Lacy Clay replaced his father in Congress, where he’s served for two decades.
Clay dismissed Bush ahead of Tuesday’s vote.
“This election is a simple choice,” Clay said on Monday. "Cori Bush’s Empty Rhetoric, or my record of real results and real reforms for the people."