Progressive MO Activist Defeats Establishment Dem Rep. Lacy Clay In Upset Victory

Missouri Democratic congressional candidate Cori Bush gives her victory speech at her campaign office on August 4, 2020 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
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August 5, 2020 7:54 a.m.

Ferguson Black Lives Matter activist Cori Bush unseated 10-term Rep. Lacy Clay (D-MO) in Missouri’s primary elections on Tuesday, marking yet another progressive upset victory against an establishment Democrat in the 2020 primaries.

Bush defeated Clay by a little over 3 points with 48.6% of the vote to the congressman’s 45.5%, per the New York Times.

“We’ve been dismissed as an impossible fringe movement, but now we are a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-generational multi-faith mass movement united in demanding change,” Bush told supporters in her victory speech. “In demanding accountability. In demanding that our police, our government, our country recognize that Black lives do indeed matter, and that these are not just words.”

Bush’s victory marks another primary race that saw a progressive insurgent oust a longtime establishment-backed Democrat, most notably Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) and infamously conservative Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL).

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