Pro-BDS candidate wins in congressional Democratic primary in Missouri

Cheryl Sanders
August 6, 2020

Cori Bush has unseated Democratic Party congressman William Lacy Clay, defeating a political dynasty that has represented its district in St Louis, Missouri, for more than half a century.

Bush's win was a rematch of 2018 when the two faced off, with many leaning into the wave of the progressive political newcomers like Bush's friend Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Ilhan Omar, and Rep. Ayanna Pressley.

The victory also comes just over two months after George Floyd's death in Minneapolis prompted massive protests and created a larger-than-ever movement toward the sort of police reform that Bush championed in Ferguson.

This connection Bush seemingly honored, by tweeting the slogan of Sanders' failed campaign to announce her own victory. They have rejected corporate political action committee money and called for greater action on climate change, "Medicare for All" and more police accountability. Once she takes office, she said, "I will be holding every single one of them accountable".


The district that covers St. Louis and north St. Louis County is overwhelmingly Democratic, and Bush is heavily favored in November against her little-known Republican challenger, Anthony Rogers.

Bush's campaign spokeswoman, Keenan Korth, said voters in the district were "galvanized".

Bill Clay served 32 years before retiring in 2000, when William Lacy Clay was elected. Bernie Sanders was the only member of Congress to endorse Bush ahead of the election, though she also received the backing of Justice Democrats and the Sunrise Movement. This time, she had strong support from other progressives including Vermont Sen.

The other side of the mailer shows Clay's support for Israel, including supporting a U.S. House of Representatives resolution past year condemning BDS, backing U.S. assistance for Israel and supporting U.S. sanctions on Iran "because of Tehran's funding and support for terrorist groups around the world that target the United States, Israel and our Middle East allies".


Ms Bush, 44, had lost to Mr Clay, 64, during the 2018 primary in Missouri.

Another mailer shows a side-by-side comparison of Bush and Clay as it pertains to BDS. She and her then-husband were evicted from their home, and - along with their baby and young son - were homeless for several months, living out of their vehicle. After her divorce, she returned to school to obtain her nursing degree and is also a pastor. She overcame homelessness and rose as a prominent activists in Ferguson, Missouri, in the wake of Michael Brown's tragic shooting in 2014.

"The future of the Democrat party looks a lot more like the squad, and the squad is here to stay", Shahid said.


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