Ex-fighter pilot McGrath to take on Republican McConnell after Kentucky primary win

By Susan Cornwell (Reuters) - Former fighter pilot Amy McGrath said Tuesday she was ready to take on Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell after edging out a Black progressive to clinch the Democratic nomination for the seat.

Reuters July 01, 2020 03:10:34 IST
Ex-fighter pilot McGrath to take on Republican McConnell after Kentucky primary win

Exfighter pilot McGrath to take on Republican McConnell after Kentucky primary win

By Susan Cornwell

(Reuters) - Former fighter pilot Amy McGrath said Tuesday she was ready to take on Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell after edging out a Black progressive to clinch the Democratic nomination for the seat.

McGrath, 45, held off a late surge from fellow Democrat Charles Booker, a state legislator, who gained on her late in the campaign as protests spread across the United States over police violence against Black people.

According to Kentucky state officials, McGrath was leading Booker with 45.3% to 42.8% of the vote with 118 of 120 counties reporting results. Multiple news organizations projected her as the winner.

The primary took place on June 23, but mailed ballots were accepted through Saturday, delaying the final results.

McConnell, 78, the most powerful Republican in Congress and a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump, is seeking a seventh six-year term.

"Last November, Kentuckians didn't hesitate to replace an incompetent and unpopular incumbent. This November, we’re going to do it again," McGrath wrote on Twitter, referring to Democratic Governor Andy Beshear's 2019 defeat of Republican Matt Bevin.

McGrath won the backing of the Democratic Party's establishment early in her campaign, including an endorsement from Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, and raised a massive $41 million in campaign funds.

Emphasizing her military experience, McGrath stressed in campaign ads that she was the "only candidate who can win" against McConnell, who has represented Kentucky in the Senate for over three decades.

McGrath follows in the mold of a handful of freshmen Democratic women with experience in national security fields who helped flip Republican House of Representatives seats in 2018.

She spent 20 years in the Marines, flying 89 combat missions.

McGrath faces an uphill battle in taking on McConnell, said Nathan Gonzales, editor of Inside Elections, which provides nonpartisan analysis of campaigns.

"McGrath was a long shot before the competitive primary and is a long shot now that it's over," Gonzalez said, noting that Beshear's victory came in a three-way race in which a Libertarian Party candidate, John Hicks, also won a substantial number of votes.

Kentucky is a conservative state that voted for Trump by 30 percentage points in 2016.

Republicans' majority of 53 to 47 seats in the U.S. Senate is looking increasingly vulnerable in the Nov. 3 election, according to political analysts.

(Reporting by Susan Cornwell and Richard Cowan; Editing by Scott Malone, Sonya Hepinstall, Bernadette Baum and Jonathan Oatis)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

EU poised to secure Sanofi deal for coronavirus vaccine
Business

EU poised to secure Sanofi deal for coronavirus vaccine

By Foo Yun Chee BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union's executive on Friday wrapped up preliminary talks with French drugmaker Sanofi aimed at securing its COVID-19 vaccine for the 27-country EU bloc, the latest deal with vaccine producers. Armed with an emergency fund of more than 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion), the European Commission wants to strike deals with up to six drugmakers for their vaccines for their 450 million citizens against the coronavirus that has killed 674,000 people worldwide

U.S. consumer spending presses ahead; declining income poses challenge
Business

U.S. consumer spending presses ahead; declining income poses challenge

By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumer spending increased for a second straight month in June, setting up consumption for a rebound in the third quarter, though the recovery could be limited by a resurgence in COVID-19 cases and the end of expanded unemployment benefits.

U.S. imposes sanctions on Chinese company over abuse of Uighurs
Business

U.S. imposes sanctions on Chinese company over abuse of Uighurs

By Steve Holland and Daphne Psaledakis WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States intensified its economic pressure on China's Xinjiang province on Friday, imposing sanctions on a powerful Chinese company and two officials for what it said were human rights abuses against Uighurs and other ethnic minorities. The move, the latest blow to U.S.-China relations, came a week after U.S