Amy McGrath Declared Winner of Kentucky Senate Democratic Primary in Close Race with State Rep. Charles Booker

McGrath will now face off against Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell in November

Jun 30, 2020 at 2:13 pm
click to enlarge Amy McGrath - Photo:
Amy McGrath

With 114 of 120 counties reporting, former Marine Corps fighter pilot Amy McGrath has declared victory over State Rep. Charles Booker in the Kentucky Senate Democratic Primary.

The tight race shows McGrath with 45.06% of the votes (235,568) and Booker with 43.05% (225,084), so far.

In a Twitter statement, McGrath said, in part, "I'm humbled that KY Democrats have nominated me to take on Mitch McConnell in November, and I can't wait to get started to send him into retirement. Thank you to this team. Without you, we wouldn’t be getting ready to give Mitch the fight of his political life. 

"Thank you to every candidate who stepped up to run in this race. Like so many, I am inspired by the powerful movement Charles Booker built to fight systemic racism and injustice and rightfully demand long-overdue action and accountability from our government & institutions."

"Our system isn’t working for everyday Kentuckians, and we need officials who have the courage to meaningfully tackle the legal, educational and health inequities that continue to prevent true racial and socio-economic equality," she continued. "That’s the kind of senator I intend to be," noting the first step in that process is to remove Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell from office.

Senate Majority Leader McConnell has served in Congress' upper chamber since 1985. In that time, he's joined in — and increasingly, led — bare-knuckle political brawls over health care reforms, judicial nominations and myriad other issues. 

Every six years, Democrats look for a challenger for the long-serving incumbent. This time around, they've found one they hope is formidable. 

McGrath, who lost a bid to represent Kentucky in the U.S. House of Representatives by three points in 2018.

As Senate Majority Leader during the Obama administration, McConnell engineered a number of moves obstructing the president's agenda — most famously, by denying Obama's Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch in the president's final year of his second term. McConnell's procedural tactics, some unprecedented in the history of the Senate, have drawn ire from Democrats.

He has enjoyed support in Kentucky, however, which voted for Republican President Donald Trump by roughly 30 points in 2016 and hasn't elected a Democrat to the Senate in 27 years. He bested his last challenger, then-Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, with 56 percent of the vote in 2014.