Cori Bush defeated Willam Lacy Clay, who held the seat for nearly 20 years.
On Tuesday night, Ferguson-based activist Cori Bush won the Democratic primary for Missouri’s First Congressional District. Bush, who organized protests in Ferguson after Michael Brown’s death in 2014. Bush defeated longtime representative William Lacy Clay, who held the seat since 2001. Clay took the Congressional seat after his father Bill Clay retired, after 32 years in Congress.
In her first run for office in 2018, Clay defeated Bush, drawing 56.7% of the vote. This time around, Bush narrowly edged Clay, taking 48% of the vote to his 45%. Bush received endorsements from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, New York Democratic nominee Jamaal Bowman, and more. Last year, Bush appeared in the Netflix documentary Knock Down the House, alongside New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Bush campaigned on a platform that supports police reform, abortion rights, Medicare for All, a $15 minimum wage, free tuition for state colleges and trade schools, and the cancelation of nationwide student debt. In addition to protesting after Darren Wilson was acquitted in Michael Brown’s death, Bush founded the Truth Telling Project, a non-profit organization seeks to engage the United States in stories that galvanize thoughtful, empathetic and educated allies for Black and communities of color.
The group forms supportive networks for families dealing with police and state-sanctioned violence, promotes healing within communities that experience police violence with the hope for broader reconciliation. The project was inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa.
“We can’t have justice without the truth being told,” Bush said in a 2016 interview. “And without making people uncomfortable with the truth. Because that’s the only way we all get free, is if the truth is uncovered. If it’s told, the people accept the truth. And then, if we begin to build from what that truth is, everybody’s voice is powerful; everybody’s voice is necessary.”