For The Record

McBath maintains public silence on impeachment stance

By: - September 26, 2019 8:41 am

U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, a Marietta Democrat, pushed for provisions in proposed voting rights legislation that would prohibit chief election officials from participating in campaigns for candidates seeking federal office. Robin Bravender/Georgia Recorder

Congresswoman Lucy McBath remains relatively quiet more than a day after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced her chamber will launch an official impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

McBath, a freshman member of Congress, is the only House Democrat from Georgia to abstain from taking a public stance since Tuesday’s announcement. No GOP members of Georgia’s House delegation support the inquiry.

Representatives John Lewis, Hank Johnson, Sanford Bishop Jr. and David Scott all pressed for an impeachment inquiry Tuesday in speeches and public statements made shortly before Pelosi’s announcement. 

While McBath has not yet followed suit, she did cast a vote earlier this month as a member of the House Judiciary Committee to adopt a resolution laying out procedures for an impeachment investigation. She posted a message to Twitter late Wednesday night highlighting that vote and soliciting campaign donations.

McBath’s office did not respond to multiple requests Tuesday and Wednesday from the Georgia Recorder for comment on her position on impeachment proceedings. 

The Georgia congresswoman did post messages on social media noting the Judiciary Committee planned to hold a hearing Wednesday on assault weapons. McBath is an outspoken gun control advocate whose son was shot dead in Florida in 2012.

McBath would gain little political advantage from a public stance one way or another, given the tenuous hold she has on the traditionally Republican district, said Charles Bullock, a University of Georgia political science professor. Democrats in the district will likely vote for McBath no matter what, Bullock said, while pushing for impeachment could stir Republican voters enough for them to give her the boot next November.

“It’s like letting sleeping dogs lie,” Bullock said Wednesday. “It might fire up Republicans to go to the polls if she became forthright in opposing the president.”

Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, spanning the northern Atlanta suburbs, was reliable Republican turf for 40 years before McBath ousted former Secretary of State Karen Handel in a tight race last fall. Handel is competing to win back the district seat in the general election on Nov. 3, 2020.

McBath’s reticence on Trump and the topic of impeachment Tuesday did not keep Handel from taking shots at her opponent, however. On top of slamming developments in Washington overall, Handel said on Twitter that McBath “repeatedly ducks” questions on impeachment and challenged her to pick a side.

“Today, she should have the courage to be honest with the people of (the district) and admit what we’ve known all along,” Handel said Tuesday, and claimed McBath would support impeachment.

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Beau Evans
Beau Evans

Beau Evans has covered local and state government and breaking news in New Orleans and California. He’s reported on immigration issues, the threat of rising seas to coastal areas, public safety and hurricanes. At The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Evans detailed the critical role government plays to ensure that people in a community have access to clean water and other public needs. In 2018, his investigative reporting revealed top officials at New Orleans’ cash-poor water utility dealt themselves huge raises, prompting several to resign. Evans’ prior reporting was in West Marin north of San Francisco for The Point Reyes Light. Evans is an Atlanta native who graduated with honors from The Lovett School and is an honors graduate of North Carolina’s Davidson College. Beau was with the Georgia Recorder until January 4th, 2020.