McBath Won't Rule Out Seeking Georgia Senate Seat

Georgia Dems urge her to stay in competitive House district

Congresswoman Lucy McBath (D-GA) / Getty Images)
September 9, 2019

Rep. Lucy McBath (D., Ga.) did not rule out a bid for Johnny Isakson's Senate seat on Sunday, telling Georgia's Sixth District members that she was aware of the rumors she may run for it but not fully dispelling them.

A voter asked if she was committed to staying in her seat during a town hall in Sandy Springs, but McBath demurred in her response.

"I’m sure you've heard all of the chatter and all of the conversation," she said, according to the Marietta Daily Journal. "What I will tell you is that I am dedicated to you … I am invested in you, and I hope to be able to continue to be invested in you in this manner."

Isakson, who is in the middle of his third term, announced last month he would retire at the end of the year for health reasons. Georgia governor Brian Kemp (R.) will appoint a successor at that time, and there will be a special election in 2020 for the seat. Sen. David Perdue (R., Ga.) is also up for re-election next year, giving Georgia the rare distinction of two simultaneous Senate races.

McBath mentioned earlier in the town hall that she hoped to follow in Isakson's footsteps as an advocate for veterans.

"I know that Senator Isakson was a staunch supporter of our veterans, not only in the delegation, but constantly advocating for them," she said. "I hope to be able to assume that role because I know how important they are, and their families serve right along with them, and they deserve better, and they deserve it now."

McBath narrowly ousted Rep. Karen Handel (R., Ga.) in November, giving Democrats a seat that had been in GOP hands for 40 years. Isakson and former Speaker Newt Gingrich are among the prominent Republicans to have represented the suburban Atlanta district.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported McBath is seriously considering running for Isakson's seat, but state and national Democrats are urging her to stay put, given the importance of her seat for their House majority. Handel and several other Republicans are seeking the party's nomination to challenge McBath in 2020.

Far-left Democrats like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) have captured national headlines, but it was candidates like McBath flipping suburban Republican districts that allowed Democrats to recapture the House in 2018.

Democrat Stacey Abrams, who lost last year's gubernatorial race to Kemp, has already said she won't challenge Perdue or seek Isakson's seat.

McBath, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, annoyed some voters at the town hall when she didn't directly answer whether she supports impeaching President Donald Trump.

"Processes move slowly," she said. "And it takes a lot of time and a lot of effort to get to the truth, and that is what we are tasked with … We don't want to just jump the gun, so to speak, we have to follow a process."

When a man accused her of dodging the question, McBath said she'd read Robert Mueller's Russia report and believed Trump had obstructed justice, but she reiterated the "process" had to be followed.

McBath ran for office after years as an advocate for gun control, following the shooting death of her son in 2012.

Published under: Georgia , Lucy McBath