Progressive Activist Cori Bush Ousts Longtime Missouri Rep. Lacy Clay

Cori Bush, a nurse and Black Lives Matter activist, has ousted longtime Missouri U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay in a Democratic primary, according to The Associated Press.

It’s the latest example of a progressive challenger topping a long-tenured Democratic incumbent.

Clay has represented the state’s 1st Congressional District, around St. Louis, since 2001. He succeeded his father in representing the district.

The younger Clay topped Bush by 20 percentage points in the 2018 primary, but Bush’s profile has risen since then, partly because of a documentary that also profiled New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Bush raised $562,309 for this year’s primary challenge — not too far behind the $740,525 Clay raised.

Bush was endorsed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders; Justice Democrats, a group closely aligned with Ocasio-Cortez; and Jamaal Bowman, who dispatched with longtime New York Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel earlier this summer.

Clay’s backers, including fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus, maintain he’s “no moderate Democrat,” citing, for instance, his support of “Medicare for All.”

The district is very liberal, so it’s likely Bush will win November’s general election. In 2018, Clay topped a Republican challenger by 63 percentage points.

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