When Kevin Abel ran in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District race last summer he hoped to become the first Jewish Congressman from the Atlanta area since Elliott Levitas represented the 4th Congressional District in the decade between 1975 and 1985.
But the successful software entrepreneur and South African native who created an energetic, well organized and well financed campaign lost a runoff election in July to Lucy McBath. She went onto narrowly defeat incumbent Karen Handel and flip the longtime Republican stronghold.
McBath, whose teenage son, Jordan Davis, was killed in a shooting incident several years ago, was actively supported by Everytown For Gun Safety, a gun control group in Washington started by Michael Bloomberg. She also received an additional boost from Hillary Clinton, who recorded a last-minute robocall for her.
When she takes office this month, McBath will be one of a record-setting 25 Democratic women elected last fall for the first time. Her election was part of what CNN has called the “Year of the Women” in American politics. A total of 117 women will take their seats in the new Congress.
Abel, who says he has no plans to challenge McBath in 2020, ran on a campaign platform that called for an end to the deep partisan divide in Congress and more cooperation between Republicans and Democrats.
“There’s a tremendous desire for change,” he maintains, “and for a better way of doing government and a better way of finding solutions for the problems that face our country”
He described the support he received during the election as part of a “call for a more civilized and workable government.”
Abel, who is on the board of several organizations working for social change, says he remains interested in public policy and political reform and plans to stay active in the community.
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