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New McConnell Foe Recalls Letter She Wrote Him at 13

Democrat and former fighter pilot Amy McGrath is running for his seat in Kentucky
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2019 8:17 AM CDT
In this Nov. 6, 2018, file photo, Amy McGrath speaks to supporters in Richmond, Ky.   (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston, File)

(Newser) – Mitch McConnell may have a much tougher fight on his hands for re-election in 2020. Democrat and former Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath said Tuesday she will challenge the Republican Senate leader, reports the Louisville Courier Journal. Make no mistake: McConnell, first elected to his Kentucky Senate seat in 1984, remains the clear favorite, notes Politico, but Democrats hope McGrath can make it a close race and perhaps score an upset. She begins her launch video recalling how she wrote to McConnell—her senator—as a 13-year-old. She told him that she wanted to fly fighter jets for the US and that women should be allowed to do that. "He never wrote back," says McGrath. "I've often wondered, how many other people did Mitch McConnell never take the time to write back or even think about?"

The mother of three entered the national political spotlight in a big way in 2018 when she lost a close race for Congress to Rep. Andy Barr, despite being a Democrat in a state President Trump carried by 15 points in 2016, notes Politico. The Hill notes that Sen. Chuck Schumer was among those who encouraged her to run against McConnell in 2020. She describes herself as more moderate that many of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, though a spokesperson for the National Republican Senatorial Committee responded to the announcement by saying her race against McConnell will be "infinitely" more difficult than her House contest. "Why? She’s still the same person who called herself 'the most progressive person in Kentucky.'" (Read more Mitch McConnell stories.)

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