Amy McGrath

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.


Amy McGrath's campaign

After losing a congressional race last year, retired Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath has set her sights on toppling Mitch McConnell from his seat in the U.S. Senate in 2020. And she will once again face the challenge of trying to appeal to voters in urban and rural parts of the state at the same time.

During her first interview of the campaign, McGrath revealed a new strategy for Democrats — accusing McConnell of getting in the way of President Donald Trump’s agenda.

In an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, McGrath said that Kentuckians voted in favor of Trump during the 2016 election because “they wanted to drain the swamp,” and because he promised to bring back jobs and lower drug prices.

Amy McGrath To Run For Mitch McConnell’s U.S. Senate Seat

Jul 9, 2019
Amy McGrath

Amy McGrath, a Marine combat aviator who narrowly lost a House race to an incumbent Republican in Kentucky, has set her sights on an even more formidable target: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

McGrath, whose campaign announcement video in her House race showcased the viral power of social media to raise money and national profile, said Tuesday she will be trying to defeat one of the most entrenched officials in Washington in McConnell. But she sees him as vulnerable because of his lengthy tenure in Washington, his stance on health care and his taut allegiance to the policies of President Donald Trump.

Amy McGrath's campaign

The top Democrat in the U.S. Senate is actively recruiting a challenger to take on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York has met with Amy McGrath, the Democratic nominee in last year’s race for Kentucky’s 6th District U.S. House seat. McGrath lost that race by three points.

But the retired Marine fighter pilot gained national attention during the race as one of several female military veterans who ran for Congress.

Ryland Barton

Outgoing U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan traveled to Georgetown on Tuesday to campaign for Republican Congressman Andy Barr, who’s facing a tough re-election challenge.

Ryan is the latest national political figure to stump in the race, which is considered to be a bellwether on President Donald Trump’s popularity as Democrats try to take control of the U.S. House and Republicans try to defend their majority.

Mary Meehan

The political ads in the Ohio Valley are playing on what seems like a constant loop. That’s not unusual for election season. But what is unusual this year is how many ads focus on health care. Consider this one from Kentucky Republican Andy Barr, who’s facing a tough challenge in the 6th Congressional District from Democrat Amy McGrath.

McGrath supports maintaining the Affordable Care Act and its essential benefits with some tweaks. Barr’s campaign ads proclaim her a radical socialist whose plan “doubles your federal taxes and ends Medicare as we know it.” It is complete, of course, with dramatic background music.


J. Tyler Franklin

The Kentucky Democratic Party has filed an ethics complaint against Gov. Matt Bevin for tweeting out his support for embattled Congressman Andy Barr’s reelection campaign from his official Twitter account.

On Saturday night, Bevin attended a rally in Richmond in which President Donald Trump stumped for Barr, who is running a tight race against Democratic challenger Amy McGrath.

Ryland Barton

On a hot September day, a small crowd gathered around 6th district Congressman Andy Barr at the Fall Festival in Midway. He ticked off his record — the tax cuts bill passed last December, scaling back parts of the Dodd-Frank consumer protections and the Republican attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

“The country is back,” Barr said. “Americans are better off now as a result of the policies we put in place. The country’s more prosperous, we’re stronger.”

James P., who didn’t want to be identified by his last name, strikes up an argument with Barr.


Trump to Visit Kentucky Ahead of November Elections

Aug 21, 2018
J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

President Donald Trump plans to campaign in Kentucky ahead of the midterm elections.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the White House announced Tuesday that Trump plans to visit Kentucky sometime in the next six weeks. Officials did not say who the president would campaign with or where he would appear. But Kentucky is home to one of the most closely watched congressional races in the country.

Marine Veteran Amy McGrath Wins Tough Democratic Primary In Kentucky’s 6th District

May 23, 2018
Amy McGrath's campaign

Former fighter pilot Amy McGrath vanquished Lexington’s mayor in Tuesday’s Democratic primary for a congressional seat in Kentucky, setting up a tougher mission against a Republican incumbent in a district seen as a pickup opportunity for her party.

McGrath, a political newcomer who spent 20 years in the Marine Corps, defeated Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, state Sen. Reggie Thomas and three other opponents.

Her victory sets up a high-profile fall campaign against Rep. Andy Barr in the 6th District, which Republican Donald Trump carried in 2016. Democrats see it as their best chance to gain a seat in the Bluegrass State.

Wikimedia Commons

Democrats trying to unseat Republican Congressman Andy Barr all embraced progressive policies like expanding health care, gun control and legalizing some form of marijuana use during a debate that aired live on KET Monday night, but they all distanced themselves from the party’s national leaders.

National Democrats see Kentucky’s 6th congressional district as one that might flip in their favor this November, hoping for a “blue wave” in reaction to President Trump and conservative policies advanced in the Republican-controlled Congress.

YouTube

Retired Marine Lt. Col. Amy McGrath's political ad took the Internet (or at least the political corner of the Internet) by storm this week, but she tells NPR that she doesn't typically love being fussed over.

"People who know me personally know me as an introvert," she said. "I'm not somebody who seeks attention."

No matter, though; when the Kentucky native released an ad announcing she would run in 2018 as a Democrat in her state's 6th Congressional District, she earned swooning praise from liberals and even impressed some conservatives. In the ad, McGrath took aim not only at the incumbent, Republican Rep. Andy Barr, but also made a blistering attack on fellow Kentuckian Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader.

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The first woman to fly an F-18 fighter jet in combat says she’ll run as a Democrat for the central Kentucky Congressional seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Andy Barr.

Retired Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Amy McGrath flew 89 combat missions in Afghanistan and Iraq, worked as a congressional aide and taught classes at the U.S. Naval Academy before moving back to her native Kentucky this summer.

She released a video on Tuesday calling out Barr for his support of Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.