Until Thursday morning, one of Georgia’s tightest congressional races had yet to be decided. Republican Rep. Karen Handel was defending the seat she won last year in a special election; anti-gun violence activist Lucy McBath was looking to take it from her for the Democrats.
And McBath ultimately triumphed.
Handel conceded Thursday, writing on Facebook that she “came up a bit short” in Tuesday’s midterms.
“Congratulations to Representative-Elect Lucy McBath and I send her only good thoughts and much prayer for the journey that lies ahead for her,” Handel wrote.
McBath was a first-time congressional candidate who jumped into the race at the last minute, citing February’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 dead. She became an activist after her 17-year-old son was fatally shot in 2012 by a man who had argued with the teen and his friends about loud music coming from their car.
The race drew national attention as an early referendum on Trump in a district Republicans had held since 1979.
The Associated Press reported that McBath got 50.5 percent of the vote to Handel’s 49.5 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting. McBath will come to Congress as part of the House’s new Democratic majority. Her victory marked the party’s 29th pickup in the lower chamber, with several races still undecided, according to a tally by The Washington Post.