McGrath Wins Kentucky Dem Primary; McConnell Showdown Awaits

McGrath Wins Kentucky Dem Primary; McConnell Showdown Awaits

McGrath Wins Kentucky Dem Primary; McConnell Showdown Awaits

Booker, who supports "Medicare for All", the Green New Deal and universal basic income and campaigned against inequality and racial injustice, joined protests over the police killing of Breonna Taylor, a Louisville woman who was shot dead in her apartment on March 13 by police executing a "no-knock" warrant.

The race crystallized an ongoing debate among national Democrats over the right strategy to pursue in red states such as Kentucky: nominate a centrist candidate (preferably with a military background) who can peel off Republican voters at the margin, or a progressive candidate (especially one of color, like Booker) who can motivate Black voters.

Former Marine pilot Amy McGrath defeated her progressive opponent Charles Booker in the Kentucky primary, setting up a high-profile showdown between her and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in November, the Associated Press projected Tuesday. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of MA, and first-term Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of NY.

McGrath turned her attention to out-of-state donors to give her an edge in her bid to run against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.).

"There is no doubt that Charles tapped into and amplified the energy and anger of so many who are fed-up with the status quo and are rightfully demanding long overdue action and accountability from our government and institutions", McGrath said.

While McGrath maintained a big fundraising lead throughout the primary - raising almost $41 million - Booker's late popularity helped the campaign raise an additional $2.4 million since June 1, about triple his previous fundraising total.

"Extreme Amy McGrath is lucky to have gotten out of the primary with a victory, but her reputation sustained significant damage all across Kentucky", said Kate Cooksey, a spokesperson for McConnell's campaign.

Election officials across the state will finish sorting through ballots ahead of today's deadline.

Since last summer, McConnell and McGrath looked past their primaries to skirmish with each other. Her campaign received a cease-and-desist letter from coal miners who said they did not consent to being used in a political ad.

Despite her advantages, McGrath sweated out her victory against the hard-charging Booker. McConnell is a top Republican fundraiser. She supports adding a public health insurance option as part of the Obama-era Affordable Care Act and supports expanded access to Medicare for people 55 and older. McConnell's campaign has said McGrath is too liberal for Kentucky, on issues from abortion to border security.

McConnell led the effort to defend the president after House Democrats impeached him.

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