Centrist Dem Amy McGrath beats Charles Booker in Kentucky main to face McConnell

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U.S. Senate candidate Amy McGrath. (Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader through AP)

Retired Marine Corps Lt. Col. Amy McGrath survived a decent main race in Kentucky to win the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate over progressive state Sen. Charles Booker.

McGrath, backed by tens of thousands and thousands in donations and the help of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, banked sufficient mail-in votes to outlive an in-person surge from Booker. The 45-year-old former F/A-18 pilot will now embark on a long-shot quest to defeat Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. 

fundraising and her name recognition, based on a viral ad for a failed bid for a House seat in 2018. He gained momentum amid the protests that followed the deaths of George Floyd and of Breonna Taylor, who was killed by police in Booker’s hometown of Louisville.” data-reactid=”25″>Booker, 35, entered the race in January and caught as much as McGrath regardless of her enormous edge in fundraising and her title recognition, primarily based on a viral advert for a failed bid for a House seat in 2018. He gained momentum amid the protests that adopted the deaths of George Floyd and of Breonna Taylor, who was killed by police in Booker’s hometown of Louisville.

Booker said in the final days of the campaign. “It has amounted to a big boost in fundraising, a big boost in support.”” data-reactid=”26″>“Standing in the streets crying with people who are facing trauma, the same trauma I carry from cousins who have been murdered over the last four years, the commonwealth has really taken note,” Booker mentioned within the closing days of the marketing campaign. “It has amounted to a big boost in fundraising, a big boost in support.”

The race crystallized an ongoing debate amongst nationwide Democrats over the appropriate technique to pursue in purple states reminiscent of Kentucky: nominate a centrist candidate (ideally with a army background) who can peel off Republican voters on the margin, or a progressive candidate (particularly considered one of shade, like Booker) who can inspire Black voters.

McGrath raised $41 million since coming into the race by way of June 3, towards roughly $800,000 for Booker, who noticed a surge within the closing weeks. According to Open Secrets, greater than 96 p.c of McGrath’s fundraising got here from out of state, versus 54 p.c for Booker. ” data-reactid=”28″>McGrath raised $41 million since coming into the race by way of June 3, towards roughly $800,000 for Booker, who noticed a surge within the closing weeks. According to Open Secrets, greater than 96 p.c of McGrath’s fundraising got here from out of state, versus 54 p.c for Booker. 

McGrath spent $3.1 million on television advertising.                           ” data-reactid=”29″>Election Day was June 23, however as a result of a flood of absentee ballots, outcomes had been held for every week as they had been tabulated. In the week main as much as the final day of in-person voting, McGrath spent $3.1 million on tv promoting.                           

but one survey released earlier this month showed Booker with an 8-point lead. Mike Broihier, a farmer and former Marine colonel, was the third candidate in the race and earned the endorsement of the local chapter of Indivisible, a prominent progressive group. ” data-reactid=”30″>Public polling within the race had been scarce, however one survey launched earlier this month confirmed Booker with an 8-point lead. Mike Broihier, a farmer and former Marine colonel, was the third candidate within the race and earned the endorsement of the native chapter of Indivisible, a outstanding progressive group. 

in February, however Booker received the endorsements of the state’s two largest papers, popular sports broadcaster Matt Jones (who had also considered a run) and Alison Lundergan Grimes, the former Kentucky secretary of state who was the Democratic candidate for Senate against McConnell in 2014. ” data-reactid=”31″>McGrath was backed by the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee in February, however Booker received the endorsements of the state’s two largest papers, in style sports activities broadcaster Matt Jones (who had additionally thought of a run) and Alison Lundergan Grimes, the previous Kentucky secretary of state who was the Democratic candidate for Senate towards McConnell in 2014. 

Prominent nationwide progressives, together with Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, additionally backed Booker. 

earlier than almost instantly reversing course and saying she wouldn’t. Her marketing campaign obtained a cease-and-desist letter from coal miners who mentioned they didn’t consent to being utilized in a political advert.” data-reactid=”33″>The Louisville Courier-Journal chided nationwide Democrats for the early help of McGrath, who struggled together with her marketing campaign launch final summer time when she mentioned she would have voted to substantiate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh earlier than almost instantly reversing course and saying she wouldn’t. Her marketing campaign obtained a cease-and-desist letter from coal miners who mentioned they didn’t consent to being utilized in a political advert.

wrote the paper’s editorial board in its endorsement of Booker.” data-reactid=”34″>“We also believe the national Democratic Party was too quick to offer its full support and fundraising apparatus to a candidate who has never held public office and stumbled out of the gate when announcing her candidacy,” wrote the paper’s editorial board in its endorsement of Booker.

personally unpopular in Kentucky, he’s repeatedly fended off both Democratic and Republican challengers in previous cycles. He’ll also be on the ballot with President Trump, who won the state by 30 points in 2016. Democrats did win a tight governor’s race in 2019, but McConnell won his last race, against Grimes, by 16 points.” data-reactid=”35″>While McConnell is personally unpopular in Kentucky, he’s repeatedly fended off each Democratic and Republican challengers in earlier cycles. He’ll even be on the poll with President Trump, who received the state by 30 factors in 2016. Democrats did win a decent governor’s race in 2019, however McConnell received his final race, towards Grimes, by 16 factors.

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