Tags: 2020 Elections | George Floyd Protests | lacy clay | AOC | cori bush | sanders | ferguson

How Missouri's 'AOC' Toppled the House of Clay

bush in a black sweater and purple shirt wearing a face mask
Progressive activist Cori Bush arrives to cast her vote on August 4, 2020 at Gambrinus Hall in St Louis, Missouri. (Michael Thomas/Getty Images)

By Wednesday, 05 August 2020 06:43 AM Current | Bio | Archive

From St. Louis to Washington, D.C., pundits and politicians were speechless Tuesday night trying to explain the defeat of 20-year Rep. William Lacy Clay in Missouri.

With near-final results in from Missouri’s 1st District (St. Louis), Clay had lost the Democrat primary by 49% to 45.5% to Cori Bush — a nurse, Black Lives Matter activist, and socialist-style “progressive” in the mold of New York Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, or AOC.

Most observers who spoke to Newsmax said it was Bush’s ability to motivate younger and more militant Black voters that turned her 57% to 37% loss to Clay in 2018 into a victory on Tuesday.

“Lacy Clay has obviously become too conservative for today’s far-left Democratic Party, which now embraces radical socialism, anarchy, and violent mob rule,” Republican former state House Speaker Tim Jones told us. “Meanwhile, the murder rate is now steadily outpacing the COVID-19 death rate in the city of St. Louis and the surrounding region.”

Next to the Dearborn, Michigan-area district of Democrat Rep. Debbie Dingell — whose husband and his father represented the district from 1932 until her election in 2014 — MO-1 has the longest uninterrupted history of being represented by one family in Congress. In 1968, William Lacy Clay Sr. was elected as the Show Me State’s first-ever Black congressman. When he retired in 2000, his son and then-State Sen. Lacy Clay succeeded him.

In challenging the congressman this year, Bush frequently spoke of her history leading protest marches against police brutality against Blacks — beginning with the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014 and most recently after the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Dismantling police departments was a key plank in her campaign platform.

In addition, Bush embraced the agenda of AOC and the group Justice Democrats, which supports progressive insurgents running for Congress: the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, a universal basic income, and a $15 minimum wage.

She also spoke of Clay’s “failed leadership” in Congress and hit hard at the congressman’s absence from protest marches in his district. One former state senate colleague of Clay’s told us that “Lacy wasn’t seen for a solid month after the protests started [after Michael Brown’s shooting in 2014]. Here his district was the subject of international attention and Lacy was AWOL [absent without leave]. And with everything that’s happened this year, it really came back to bite him.”

The mushrooming of Bush’s support this year was seen in her fundraising. Where the challenger raised only $139,000 in 2018, she raked in five times as much this year — $569,000 — compared to Clay’s $744,000.

“Clay did not attack Bush for being far left and claimed he was just as liberal,” said veteran election analyst Jay O’Callaghan, referring to the incumbent’s support for the Green New Deal and Medicare for All. “Bush believed that more action is needed on Black concerns than just filing a bill. And she was also 20 years younger.”

Coupled with the primary defeats of House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., at the hands of far-leftist Jamaal Bowman and Illinois Rep. Dan Lipinski — the last pro-life Democrat in the House — by progressive Marie Newman, the defeat of Clay by Bush is the latest sign that House Democrats are racing to the extreme left. 

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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From St. Louis to Washington, D.C., pundits and politicians were speechless Tuesday night trying to explain the defeat of 20-year Rep. William Lacy Clay in Missouri. With near-final results in from Missouri's 1st District (St. Louis), Clay had lost the Democrat primary by...
lacy clay, AOC, cori bush, sanders, ferguson, medicare for all
Wednesday, 05 August 2020 06:43 AM
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