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Who is Cori Bush, the woman who toppled a political dynasty?

If Bush wins in November, she will become the first Black woman to represent Missouri in Congress

ST. LOUIS — On Tuesday night, Cori Bush got one step closer to making history in Missouri politics.

She secured the Democratic nomination in the race for Missouri’s 1st Congressional District, unseating Rep. William Lacy Clay who has held the post since the year 2000. The seat has been in the Clay family for more than 50 years.

If Bush wins in November, she will become the first Black woman to represent a part of Missouri in Congress.

So, who is this new face in the St. Louis area political scene?

If she looks familiar, here’s why.

Cori Bush first came into the public consciousness following the 2014 death of Michael Brown. The Ferguson protests vaulted her into the role of activist, becoming a leader of some of the many protests that followed in Ferguson.

Three years later, she was back on the streets, leading more protests after a judge acquitted a St. Louis police officer in the shooting death of a black suspect. She said she continues to fight for justice for George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

Credit: AP
FILE - In this Sept. 17, 2017 file photo, Cori Bush speaks on a bullhorn to protesters outside the St. Louis Police Department headquarters in St. Louis. Six deaths, all involving men with connections to protests in Ferguson, Missouri, drew attention on social media and speculation in the activist community that something sinister was at play. Bush said her car has been run off the road, her home has been vandalized, and in 2014 someone shot a bullet into her car, narrowly missing her daughter, who was 13 at the time. Activists and observers remain puzzled, especially since people involved in the protests continue to face harassment and threats. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

Bush became ill while pregnant with her second child in 2001 and had to quit her job at a preschool. When she and her then-husband were evicted from a rental home, the couple, their newborn and 14-month-old son lived out of a Ford Explorer for several months. Eventually the couple divorced.

Bush is a 44-year-old St. Louis native and graduate of Harris-Stowe State University. She’s a single mother, a former nurse and a pastor.

Credit: Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP
Documentary subjects, Paula Jean Swearengin, left, Amy Vilela, second left, and Cori Bush, right, pose with filmmaker Rachel Lears, third left, at the premiere of "Knock Down the House", a documentary about them as well as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., not pictured, during the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP)

She appeared in a 2019 Netflix documentary that followed her and three other progressive women, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who were seeking to replace incumbent Democrats.

Bush will face Republican Anthony Rogers in November.

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