Amy McGrath

Becca Schimmel | WKU Public Radio

A Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Kentucky is criticizing Republican Mitch McConnell for allegedly trying to defund a federal program that detects and curbs the spread of infectious diseases.

Amy McGrath is one of 10 Democrats seeking her party’s nomination for the Senate seat held by McConnell.

The New Yorker recently reported that in 2017, McConnell pushed an amendment that would have ended funding for the Prevention and Public Health Fund.

McGrath also blames McConnell for decreased funding for important public health organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Rhonda J Miller

Kentucky State Representative Charles Booker is one of 10 Democratic candidates competing to be the party nominee for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Mitch McConnell, who has seven challengers. 

The state primary originally scheduled for May 19 has been rescheduled for June 23 due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. The general election is Nov. 3.

Booker has represented Kentucky's 43rd State House District, which covers part of Jefferson County, since January 2019.

During a campaign visit to Bowling Green, Booker stopped by the WKU Public Radio studio to talk with reporter Rhonda Miller. That conversation took place before the coronavirus required "social distancing" and drew much of the focus away from the state's primary election. This is one of a series of WKU Public Radio interviews with candidates in the Democratic primary.

Rhonda J. Miller

A state legislator who says he will work to eliminate poverty is running to win the state’s Democratic U.S. Senate primary.

Representative Charles Booker brought his campaign to Bowling Green on Monday with stops at the Warren County Democratic Woman’s Club and other events.

Charles Booker said when he was growing up in the west end of Louisville, he remembers his mother going without food so he could eat. 

Booker said, in his opinion, big corporations get too many tax breaks while many working people struggle to make ends meet.


Rhonda J. Miller

The retired Marine fighter pilot running to win Kentucky’s Democratic U.S. Senate primary brought her campaign to Bowling Green on Monday.

Amy McGrath is hoping to be the Democrat who takes on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in November. McGrath spoke at the Warren County Democratic Woman’s Club. 

McGrath was raised in northern Kentucky and had a 20-year career in the military.  She and her husband, a retired Navy pilot, moved back to Kentucky where they’re raising their three children.

McGrath said her campaign is focusing on the daily concerns of Kentuckians. 


Booker and McGrath campaigns

The tensions between the more center-left wing of the Democratic Party (think Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi) and the party’s left-wing (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders) are fairly high right now, with the Democratic primary in full swing. And this fight will play out in Kentucky over the next month — and perhaps through May.

State Representative Charles Booker, who recently set up an exploratory committee for a possible 2020 Senate run, is spending this month traveling across the state, trying to decide if he should formally enter the race. The Sunrise Movement, a national group pushing for a climate change plan called the Green New Deal, announced its support of Booker last week and more liberal lawmakers in the statehouse like Nima Kulkarni are also encouraging his run. If he runs, Booker in particular would set up a clear contrast with Amy McGrath, a more center-left Democratic candidate for the seat currently held by Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Lisa Autry

A Democratic state lawmaker exploring a run against U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell says he would be committed to the Green New Deal if elected to Congress. 

State Representative Charles Booker from Jefferson County was in Bowling Green on Friday where he picked up an endorsement from the Sunrise Movement, a youth-led climate activism group. 

Booker grew up in Louisville’s West End, the poorest zip code in the state. Booker said neighborhoods like his are disproportionately affected by environmental hazards.

screenshot from Amy McGrath for Senate YouTube

Two retired coal miners have sent a cease and desist letter to the U.S. Senate campaign of Amy McGrath. The retirees were shown in a campaign ad for the candidate.

Randy Robbins and Albrow Hall say they didn’t know a video of them would be used for a political attack advertisement until after it was already being broadcast.

The ad featured a reenactment of a 10-hour bus ride to Washington D.C. by coal miners advocating for black lung benefits.


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.

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

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.

J. Tyler Franklin

This week in Kentucky politics, Gov. Matt Bevin signed the so-called pension “relief” bill into law after a short special legislative session. Attorney General Andy Beshear threatened to sue over the session, saying that Bevin had blocked lawmakers from considering other proposals. And Amy McGrath addressed the bumpy launch to her U.S. Senate campaign.

Listen to this week’s show:


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.

 


J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

This week in Kentucky politics, retired Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath announced she'll  challenge Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in next year’s race for U.S. Senate. But the launch had a rocky start.

Also, Gov. Matt Bevin might be a little closer to calling a special legislative session on pensions this summer.

Jean West from member station WFPL talked to Ryland Barton for this week’s edition of Kentucky Politics Distilled.


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.

 


Amy McGrath

The woman hoping to challenge U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell in this fall’s general election is off to a record-setting fundraising start.  

Amy McGrath, a former Marine fighter pilot, took to MSNBC Tuesday morning to announce her bid for the Senate seat held by McConnell since 1985.

Within 24 hours, McGrath’s campaign raised $2.5 million. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee says that dwarfs the previous record of $1 million dollars raised during the first 24 hours of a Democratic Senate bid.


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