Standing in front of placards stating “We Love Lucy,” U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Marietta, spoke to the Cobb Progressives Saturday, recounting Washington’s accomplishments, warning of Russian interference in Cobb’s 2020 elections remembering her colleague Elijah Cummings who passed away Oct. 17.
“I flew in from Washington just for you,” the freshman representative joked to the crowd of three dozen Cobb Progressives members who met in the Roy Barnes Law Office building.
On the loss of Cummings, McBath said the Maryland representative was quick to make her feel welcome in Washington.
“I used to sit next to him. He was a giant among us in Congress, he really, really was. He was so highly revered and had done so much wonderful work.”
McBath admitted to being starstruck when meeting Cummings for the first time and said the 23-year congressman was quick to bestow sage advice:
“I’d sit next to him and he’d say ‘How you doing, kid?’ And I said, ‘Oh my God, it’s so hard being a freshman.’ He gave me such sound, wise words and he told me:
“'First and foremost, keep your eyes on God.
“'Care for your family. Go back home to care for your family.
“'Stay focused, stay focused, stay focused on your district, and you’ll be just fine.’”
"And he’d give me a fist bump.”
McBath said despite criticism of a do-nothing Washington, progress is being made.
“Things are going well. I will tell you, despite what you hear with all the white noise, we have done a lot of work. The Democrat caucus has done a lot of work. We’ve passed over 200 bills.”
But the 6th District representative said much of the accomplishments are being stymied by the opposing party.
“Those pieces of legislation are sitting at Mitch McConnell’s feet. Over 60 pieces of legislation that we’ve passed, bipartisan legislation — are sitting at his feet.”
She had little positive to say about her colleagues across the aisle.
“I’ll be completely honest with you. I have been disheartened … and it’s been very painful to sit on the committees and just listen to the Republican colleagues. It’s been very, very painful. I will tell you, I’m so grateful to be in the seat because I really believe that in the House we are the first line of defense. If we were not there, I can’t even imagine where we would be as a country.”
Russian interference in U.S. elections didn’t stop at the presidential campaigns, she said. It happened in 2018 in her own 6th District race and likely will happen again.
“The direction of the country is very precarious right now. I do now know that during the 2018 campaign, east Cobb and also Fulton elections were targeted. They were targeted by the Russian interference. I have been asking lots of questions on what’s happening in Georgia, what’s happening in our district, and how are we going to prevent (ourselves) from being compromised. We’re (Georgia is) now a priority because we have two Senate seats. I’m very, very concerned that we will be targeted.”
Five Republicans and one Independent have announced a run for the seat. Those GOP opponents include Karen Handel, who held the seat prior to McBath. McBath eked out a 50.5% victory over Handel in 2018.
According to its website, the Cobb Progressives is “a group of like-minded activists here in Cobb County, keen to support progressive policies and programs (and political candidates!).”
Other political candidates speaking to the group Saturday were Jimmy Herndon, candidate for sheriff, and Edwin Mendez, seeking to fill the District 4 Cobb Commission post.