Amy McGrath is the democratic candidate challenging Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell in the upcoming 2020 election. McGrath launched her new campaign July of this year after a close loss in her run for Congress in 2018. Still new to politics after starting her new career only two years ago, McGrath brings with her 20 years of experience serving the United States in the Marine Corps.
The 44-year old from Kentucky is a retired US Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel and the first woman to ever fly an F-18 in combat. She is not the only woman of big accomplishments in her family, as her mother was one of the first women to graduate from Kentucky University’s Medical School. McGrath herself graduated from the US Naval Academy after having written her own Senator, Mitch McConnell, when she was younger asking for the laws surrounding women in the military to be changed and never receiving a response. She received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the Naval Academy, a graduate certificate in legislative studies from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in international security from Johns Hopkins University. Before retiring and moving back to Kentucky, McGrath flew over 85 combat missions in Afganistan and Iraq.
I’m running to replace Mitch McConnell in the U.S. Senate. Everything that’s wrong with Washington had to start somewhere—it started with him. With your help, we can defeat Mitch and defend democracy. Join us: https://t.co/c4b0WAp4ji pic.twitter.com/DNLjFkHGua
— Amy McGrath (@AmyMcGrathKY) July 9, 2019
Since McGrath lost the congressional election by three percent to opponent Andy Barr, Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer, has been actively recruiting her to take on Mitch McConnell. Her popularity has since risen, breaking fundraising records on her first day in the senatorial campaign, raising 2.5 million dollars.
McGrath was a registered independent for twelve years before becoming a Democrat. Her husband remains a registered Republican. Her views on topics, such as climate change, gun control and healthcare show to be more progressive than that of her Republican counterparts.
When it comes to climate change, McGrath believes that the issue is real and challenges national security. She has also noted the negative economic effects climate change would have on the United States.
“The environment shouldn’t be a partisan, political issue. This is a global issue, an American issue, and an issue for Kentucky. It’s about the future of our planet for our children and generations to come,” wrote McGrath.
McGrath has written that she believes “healthcare is a fundamental right that should be guaranteed for every American”. Her ultimate goal would be universal coverage.
My mother was one of the first women to graduate from @UniversityofKY's College of Medicine. I saw her frustration as she and her patients struggled in the health care system—Kentuckians should never have to worry about affording necessary treatment.
— Amy McGrath (@AmyMcGrathKY) August 16, 2019
Being a former NRA member, McGrath has noted that she would not accept campaign contributions from the organization or ever seek their endorsement. She believes the NRA has turned into a lobbying group for “commercial gun manufacturers”.
Her more cautious ideological attitudes on medical marijuana and legalization is justified by her desire to have more research completed by government organizations. She recognizes the importance of medical marijuana in certain circumstances.
As for foreign policy, McGrath believes in America being the model for democratic ideals. This includes “human rights (including women’s rights), justice, equality, opportunity, and freedoms of speech, religion and press.” She is a supporter of NATO and believes that strong alliances are crucial to maintaining peace.
Republicans so far have been uneasy about McGrath’s campaign and political history. She has been called “too liberal for Kentucky” by Mitch McConnell’s campaign. McConnell has also already taken measures to prevent being unseated by McGrath in 2020. His campaign has been researching her to criticize any questionable statements or positions on current issues.
Amy McGrath has shown to be a powerful and influential candidate in the upcoming senatorial election. Nevertheless, her opponent happens to be the longest-serving Senate Republican Leader in the history of the United States which creates a difficult situation. Along her path to secure the most powerful Senate position, she must first win the primaries in May of 2020, which will not be the hard part. She is the most high-profile Democratic candidate as of yet. Then, McGrath must be elected by the country who voted for Republican President Trump in recent years. In her favor, though, is the unpopular status McConnell holds in Kentucky with a mere 36% approval rating. While it is not impossible for McGrath to secure the Senate position, it will be a long road to get to that point.
Image: Amy McGrath press team