Sixth District candidate Lucy McBath is banking on her powerful personal story to help win over new supporters, debuting a television ad on Thursday that touches on the loss of her son to gun violence and decades working for a beloved Atlanta company.
The Democratic congressional hopeful’s new 30-second ad recounts the birth of her son Jordan and the gas station encounter that ended his life in 2012. It also touches on her Christian faith and past work for Delta Air Lines.
“When my son was murdered, I vowed to make a difference,” McBath says in the spot, her first of the general election cycle. It will begin airing on Atlanta-area network stations Thursday.
Rather than focusing on gun control, McBath’s signature issue, the ad discusses her desire to “protect women’s health care and middle class tax cuts.”
Incumbent Congresswoman Karen Handel, R-Roswell, has made the GOP’s tax overhaul a centerpiece of her first reelection effort. One in four likely Georgia voters have listed the economy as the top issue determining their vote in November, according to the AJC’s latest poll of Georgia voters, with health care not far behind.
Ahead of the Democratic primary, the political newbie began discussing her two bouts with breast cancer. She has pushed for expanding Medicaid, safeguarding Obamacare and adding a public health care option.
She describes the Republican tax law as a “scam” that mainly benefits the wealthy and large corporations but has also called for making its middle class tax cuts permanent -- which House Republicans also did with a bill that Handel supported last month.
The spot is an abbreviated version of a more than three-minute digital ad McBath’s campaign rolled out last month that has garnered more than 900,000 views on Twitter.
McBath is seeking to bolster her name recognition after her own internal poll showed that two-thirds of likely voters in the DeKalb, Fulton and Cobb-based 6th District could not identify her.
McBath is hoping the pull of her personal story, paired with disdain for President Trump among many suburban women, can help topple Handel, who is seeking her first full term in Washington.
Handel has fundraised heavily and sought to shift the conversation away from the president, who only narrowly carried the 6th District in 2016. She’s instead focused her first reelection bid on her own legislative record, highlighting her work on human trafficking and ‘right-to-try’ laws in her first two ads.
Handel has also hit McBath for being beholden to special interests, pointing to the Democrat’s work for the gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety. She has also criticized McBath for her ties to Hillary Clinton and framed her as an “occasional” district resident for briefly moving to Tennessee in 2016.
McBath in turn has framed Handel as a Trump lackey.
Here’s a transcript of the spot:
“We were contemplating adopting, and then, out of nowhere. I got pregnant.
Jordan was so much fun as a child. And then…
[Gunshots] ‘Oh my God, somebody is shooting’
Three of those rounds he aimed at Jordan.
Jordan did not deserve to die that way.
When my son was murdered, I vowed to make a difference.
I am a mom who flew with Delta for 30 years.
I will fight to protect women’s health care and middle class tax cuts.”
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