Progressive candidate Bush talks about her upset primary win over Rep. Clay

Progressive congressional candidate Cori Bush (D-Mo.), who scored an upset win over longtime Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) in a Tuesday primary, signaled on Friday that she is ready to do the work needed to push forward progressive policies in Washington.

“The reason why I was running against Congressman Clay because our community [has] so many needs, we’re struggling so much. So many things that shouldn’t be happening in our community are still happening and it’s been happening for so long,” Bush, 44, told Hill.TV.

“Change can happen if we have people in those seats that want to see change. We have to be willing to push it, we have to be willing to fight for it and advocate,” she added.

In 2018, Bush lost to Clay in the Democratic primary of Missouri’s 1st Congressional District by 20 points, but Tuesday’s primary yielded a different result. This time, Bush edged out Clay 49 percent to 46 percent — roughly 4,000 votes — powered by endorsements by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Justice Democrats.

Unseating Clay was no small feat. Clay has served in Congress since 2001 when he replaced his father, former Rep. Lacy Clay Sr., who had held the seat since 1968. Bush’s victory showed a shift left for the already solidly blue district. 

An ordained pastor and a registered nurse, Bush is a supporter of universal basic income (UBI) — a policy championed by former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang — and said that it would be one of her priorities as a congresswoman.

“First would be COVID-19 relief, you know, definitely supporting what people have already been talking about like the $2,000 universal basic income that would be retroactive and last one full year,” Bush explained.

A monthly UBI has the support of progressive lawmakers such as Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and has been floated as a way to directly help American families who have been hit hard economically by the coronavirus pandemic.

As part of the CARES Act in March, Congress distributed $1,200 stimulus checks to most adult Americans whose yearly income was under a certain threshold.



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