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Morgan McGarvey gets nod over Attica Scott in Democratic Congressional primary

Legislative Research Commission
Legislative Research Commission
Kentucky state Rep. Attica Scott (left) and Kentucky state Sen. Morgan McGarvey

Kentucky Senate Minority Leader Morgan McGarvey won the Democratic primary for the state’s 3rd Congressional district seat, easily defeating state Rep. Attica Scott according to initial returns.

Longtime Congressman John Yarmuth is not seeking reelection to the seat, which he has held since 2006. This is the first open seat race since 1994 in the Louisville-area district.

In what was projected to be a tough contest, both candidates ran on progressive platforms with little contrast between where they stand on major policy issues. But McGarvey and Scott had different takes on how best to work with Republicans in the state legislature and Congress.

As the state Senate’s Democratic leader, McGarvey has a track record of passing bills through the Republican-led legislature, arguing that he can reach across the aisle without forsaking Democratic values. Scott said she was open to meeting the GOP halfway, but also said she didn’t believe in “going along to get along.” McGarvey collected endorsements fast, receiving backing from major public figures and unions.

When she was first elected in 2016, Scott was the first Black woman in 20 years to serve in the legislature and previously was a member of the Louisville Metro Council from 2011 to 2014. At the height of the protests surrounding Breonna Taylor’s death, she pushed for racial and economic justice, protesting alongside marginalized communities.

McGarvey had a huge fundraising advantage over Scott, garnering more than $1.5 million as of his last filing. Scott had raised just over $230,000. McGarvey also received support from a crypto-billionaire funded PAC called Protect Our Future. Scott received just $1,000 from The New Power PAC of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth for campaign mailers.