Jul 9, 2019

Amy McGrath to challenge Mitch McConnell in 2020 Senate race

Mitch McConnell and Amy McGrath. Photos: Mark Wilson/Jason Davis/Getty Images

Democrat Amy McGrath, a former Marine fighter pilot and the first female Marine to fly in an F-18 during combat, announced Tuesday that she will take on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for his Kentucky Senate seat in 2020.

Why it matters: McGrath, who failed in her House bid during the 2018 midterm elections, will be a high profile — and cash-flush — challenger for McConnell, the longest-serving Republican Senate leader.

What she's saying, via her campaign video:

"It started with this man who was elected a lifetime ago and who has, bit by bit, year by year turned Washington into something we all despise. Where disfunction and chaos are all political weapons. Where budgets and health care and the Supreme Court are held hostage. A place where ideals go to die."

The other side:

“Amy McGrath lost her only race in a Democratic wave election because she is an extreme liberal who is far out of touch with Kentuckians. Comparing President Trump’s election to 9/11, endorsing a government takeover of healthcare, and calling the wall 'stupid' is a heckuva platform that we will be delighted to discuss over the next sixteen months.”
— McConnell's campaign manager Kevin Golden

Go deeper: These Senate seats are up for election in 2020

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McConnell challenger Amy McGrath's campaign says it raised $2.5 million in 24 hours

Amy McGrath. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Amy McGrath's campaign said on Wednesday that it raised $2.5 million in its first 24 hours, after the Kentucky Democrat announced her bid to challenge Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell next fall, NBC reports.

Why it matters: McGrath's campaign said that was the most money ever raised during a Senate campaign's first day. This highlights how the Kentucky race is set to become a lightning rod in 2020 — as the idea of "dealing with" McConnell was a question in the first 2020 presidential debate.

Go deeperArrowJul 10, 2019

McConnell challenger Amy McGrath in Kavanaugh vote support flip-flop

Amy McGrath. Photo by Jason Davis/Getty Images

Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Amy McGrath walked back comments Wednesday that she "probably would have voted" to appoint Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court — hours after she made the declaration.

Details: McGrath, who hopes to unseat Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2020, made the comments on Kavanaugh during a wide-ranging interview with the Courier Journal in which she also said, "If President Trump has good ideas, I'll be for them. At the same time, if I think he’s wrong I’m going to stand up to him."

Go deeperArrowJul 11, 2019

Mitch McConnell fractures shoulder after falling at Kentucky home

Mitch McConnell: Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has fractured his shoulder after falling at his Kentucky home, his spokesperson said in a statement Sunday. The 77-year-old McConnell has been treated and released from the hospital and is working from his home in Louisville.

The big picture: The injury comes as a number of Democrats and some Republicans have called upon McConnell to cancel the Senate's August recess so that lawmakers can pass gun control legislation in the aftermath of two deadly mass shootings this weekend. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi demanded on Sunday that Senate Republicans put an end to to their "outrageous obstruction," referencing McConnell's refusal to bring two background check bills passed in the House this year for a vote on the Senate floor.