Cori Bush knows the long game. She ran for U.S. Senate in 2016 and lost the Democratic primary in a landslide to Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, who then lost to Republican incumbent Sen. Roy Blunt. In 2018, she challenged the seemingly untouchable U.S. Representative Lacy Clay, and even with the backing of rising political superstars such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the result was another landslide loss. But when it looked like those landslides were burying her, Bush was using the rubble to climb ever closer. Running on an unapologetically progressive platform, the registered nurse and Ferguson activist harnessed the growing social justice movement in a rematch against Clay in this year’s Democratic primary. Unlike 2016, or even 2018, Bush had built a powerful campaign team with a deep network of volunteers and resources to get her message out to voters. And the voters liked what they heard. In August, Bush toppled Clay with 48 percent of the vote in the primary. It wasn’t a landslide, but it was the realization of a goal that began more than four years before. She’s now one Republican pushover away from Congress. — Doyle Murphy
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