2020 election

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Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship has announced he is running for President. Blankenship served a year in federal prison and made a failed bid for the U.S. Senate in 2018.

In a statement posted online, Blankenship says he is seeking the Constitution Party’s nomination for president in 2020.  Federal Election Commission records show he filed paperwork in October.

Blankenship served a year in federal prison for conspiring to violate mine safety standards following an April 2010 explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine, where 29 men died.

Matt Markgraf

Kentucky state representative Charles Booker says he is exploring a run for U.S. Senate in 2020, potentially challenging Democrats Amy McGrath and Mike Broihier in the primary in hopes of taking on incumbent Republican Mitch McConnell next November. Booker announced the formation of his exploratory committee by video on Monday.

Booker, 35, is a liberal legislator and lawyer from Louisville who was elected to his first term last year. He serves on the Natural Resources and Energy, Judiciary, and Economic Development and Workforce Investment committees. Booker is a member of the Louisville Metropolitan and Kentucky Black Legislative caucuses.

Ryland Barton

Democrats have been trying to pressure Mitch McConnell to take up election security measures that passed out of the House of Representatives earlier this year, but the Senate majority leader has shown little willingness to do so.

In his home state of Kentucky, McConnell has been dogged by protesters calling him “Moscow Mitch”—one of the few epithets he dislikes. A billboard in his hometown of Louisville now urges his constituents to “Tell Mitch McConnell: Stop Blocking Election Security Funding.”

Screenshot from teamhagerty.com

Former U.S. Ambassador Bill Hagerty officially launched his bid for U.S. Senate Monday, confirming a campaign that he'd been keeping quiet about despite President Donald Trump's announcing it for him in a tweet in July.

Hagerty, a longtime ally of Utah Sen. Mitt Romney and Tennessee's economic and community development commissioner under Gov. Bill Haslam, immediately moved to nationalize the race.

In an official launch video posted online, he said he felt called to act against what he describes as a "threat to Tennessee and to our country by the Democrats' socialist agenda."

Updated on Nov. 11 at 5:30 p.m. ET

The recent stream of Republicans announcing plans to retire in 2020 means GOP lawmakers may be losing hope that there is a path to retaking the majority in the House of Representatives next November.

Broadcaster Matt Jones Takes Step Toward Senate Run

Aug 29, 2019
J. Tyler Franklin

The host of a popular Kentucky sports talk show announced Thursday that he’s taking a step toward running as a Democrat for the seat of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell by forming an exploratory committee.

Matt Jones said on his radio show that his decision on whether to enter the 2020 campaign will come after this year’s statewide election in November.

If he gets in, he would face a tough primary next spring that includes ex-Marine combat aviator Amy McGrath — who narrowly lost a high-profile race for the U.S. House in 2018 and is already running TV ads promoting her Senate campaign. Whoever wins the Democratic nomination will face a daunting race against McConnell, the most powerful congressional Republican and the kingpin of Kentucky politics.

Kyeland Jackson

A large crowd attended a rally in Louisville Sunday for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

The rally was held near the entrance to the Muhammad Ali Center, and people lined the steps and filled nearby parking garages to attend. At the rally, Sanders talked about Kentucky’s economic woesmine workers’ concerns, and the need for laws to address issues like minimum wage and gun access. The presidential candidate also talked about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Sanders said McConnell and President Donald Trump are trying to divide people, adding that McConnell does not listen to his constituents.

Sanders Visits Coal States On Heels Of Climate Plan Release

Aug 23, 2019
Jesse Wright, WVPB

Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders will visit Kentucky and West Virginia just days after releasing his plan to address climate change.

Sanders is scheduled to speak in Louisville, Kentucky, Sunday and in Morgantown, West Virginia, Monday.

His detailed climate plan released Thursday calls climate change “the single greatest challenge facing our country.”


Becca Schimmel/WKU Public Radio

A Kentucky Democrat hoping to take Republican Mitch McConnell's U.S. Senate seat says the country needs stricter background checks for gun owners.

But Amy McGrath isn’t in favor of an assault weapons ban.

In comments made during an interview with WKU Public Radio, McGrath said if elected to the U.S. Senate, she’d push the chamber to take up measures she says are backed by both gunowners and those who don’t own firearms.


J. Tyler Franklin

This week in Kentucky politics, Lieutenant Gov. Jean Hampton filed a lawsuit against Gov. Matt Bevin for firing two of her staffers. The University of Louisville announced a deal to try and buy the struggling Jewish Hospital system with a $50 million loan from the state. And sports radio host Matt Jones announced he’s writing a book about Mitch McConnell, but still won’t say if he’s running against him.

Ryan Van Velzer

Democratic Presidential hopeful and Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan held a rally in Louisville Thursday evening to demand Mitch McConnell take action on gun reform.

Congressman John Yarmuth, state lawmakers and local advocates spoke to the crowd at an outdoor amphitheater beside the Muhammad Ali Center.

With only 24 hours notice, 300-400 people packed into the rows of the outdoor amphitheater and spilled out onto the concrete to express their advocacy for gun reform legislation.

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentuckians dislike their governor and one of their senators more than the residents of any of the other 49 states. Yet, Kentuckians could re-elect Matt Bevin as governor this November.

The non-partisan D.C.-based Cook Political Report ranks Bevin’s race against Democrat Andy Behear as a toss-up right now. The state is, according to Cook, also “likely” to send Mitch McConnell back to the Senate for a seventh term next fall, even though Democrat and former Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath raised more than $2.5 million last month in her first day as candidate.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

The second night of the Democratic debates in Detroit did not stray from its predicted script: It was open season on front-runner Joe Biden right from the start.

But it was also something of a free-for-all, with every candidate for himself or herself. And the intensity and outcome of the exchanges may have come as a surprise to some of the people onstage.

Amy McGrath's Twitter page

Retired fighter pilot Amy McGrath had a bumpy launch to her campaign to unseat Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell earlier this month. But in a recent interview, McGrath said she can still unite Democrats and Republicans against Kentucky’s six-term senior senator.

McGrath told the Courier Journal and Insider Louisville earlier this month that she would have voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. That comment raised eyebrows with her supporters, and within hours she retracted the statement via Twitter.

 


Amy McGrath

Former Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath had had a tough rollout of her U.S. Senate campaign this week, showing some of the difficulties of running a statewide campaign as a Democrat in increasingly Republican Kentucky.

In interviews with the Courier Journal and Insider Louisville on Wednesday, McGrath said she would have voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, quickly drawing ire from some of her more liberal supporters.

“You know, I think that with Judge Kavanaugh, yeah, I probably would have voted for him,” McGrath told the Courier Journal.

 


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