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Congresswoman Cori Bush on why she combines activism with legislation

U.S. Rep. Cori Bush (D-St. Louis County) listens to her staff speak on Friday, July 22, 2022, during a campaign fundraiser at The Golden Record in south St. Louis. Bush will face State Sen. Steven Roberts Jr. in the Democratic primary for Missouri’s first congressional district on Aug. 2.
Brian Munoz
St. Louis Public Radio
U.S. Rep. Cori Bush, D-St. Louis County, listens to her staff speak on July 22 during a campaign fundraiser at the Golden Record in south St. Louis. Bush is facing state Sen. Steve Roberts in the Democratic primary for Missouri’s 1st Congressional District on Tuesday.

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, U.S. Rep Cori Bush, D-St. Louis County, talks about her reelection campaign in Missouri’s 1st Congressional District.

Bush was elected to represent the district in 2020. It includes all of St. Louis and some of St. Louis County, and it's the only congressional district in Missouri with a plurality of Black residents.

Bush is locked in a competitive Democratic primary with state Sen. Steve Roberts, D-St. Louis. Roberts recorded an episode of Politically Speaking that can be found here.

Here’s what Bush talked about on the show:

  • Why she should be elected to another term. Bush pointed to her support of the American Rescue Plan Act, which brought back hundreds of millions of dollars to St. Louis and St. Louis County.  And she responded to Roberts’ criticism that she should focus less on activism.
  • What can be done to protect abortion access if Democrats lose control of Congress.
  • Why she opposed certain sanctions against Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine. 
  • The House bill to ban assault weapons. Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a vote while the episode of Politically Speaking was being recorded. Bush then expounded upon what she would want to do to restrict guns.

Bush is a native of Northwoods in St. Louis County, where her father, Errol Bush, has served as a councilman and mayor. A nurse by trade, Bush participated in the protest movement that arose after Michael Brown’s shooting death in Ferguson.

Bush first ran for office in 2016, when she lost to then-Secretary of State Jason Kander in the Democratic U.S. Senate primary. She then challenged U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay in 2018 but lost by a decisive margin.

Bush, who ran a well-funded campaign, beat Clay in 2020. The win ended the Clays’ roughly five-decade hold over the 1st Congressional District seat and guaranteed that a Black woman would be elected to a Missouri U.S. House seat for the first time.

Bush is a key ally of Sen. Bernie Sanders and was a surrogate for his 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns. She’s also a member of a group of representatives known as “The Squad” who advocate progressive policy positions.

The winner of the Bush-Roberts contest will be likely to head to Congress next year, since the seat is heavily Democratic.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Sarah Kellogg on Twitter: @sarahkkellogg

Follow Cori Bush on Twitter: @CoriBush

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
Sarah Kellogg is a Missouri Statehouse and Politics Reporter for St. Louis Public Radio and other public radio stations across the state.