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Moderate Democrat ekes out win in Kentucky Senate primary

作者:admin 2020-07-01

Much to the dismay of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party in the United States, former Marine pilot Amy McGrath on Tuesday overcame a bumpier-than-expected Kentucky primary to win the Democratic nomination to run against Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Voting ended June 23, but it took a week until McGrath could be declared the winner due to the race's tight margins and a deluge of mail-in ballots. The outcome seemed a certainty early in the campaign, but became tenuous as challenger Charles Booker's profile surged when the Black state legislator was embraced by icons of the party's progressive wing, such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

It was a narrow victory for McGrath. With 99 percent of precincts reporting on Tuesday afternoon, she had an 11,832-vote advantage over Booker out of nearly 531,000 votes cast. McConnell, a key ally to President Donald Trump, already breezed to victory in the Republican primary in his bid for a seventh term.

Kentucky switched to widespread absentee voting amid the coronavirus pandemic, and election officials needed days to count ballots. In Lexington, the state's second-largest city, about 6,000 absentee ballots were thrown out on technicalities ranging from unsigned envelopes to detached security flaps, said Fayette County Clerk Don Blevins.

35 year old Charles Booker grew up in the poorest zip code in Kentucky.

He ran his campaign on the basis that we all deserve the right to survive and especially on behalf of those he felt had become invisible to Mitch McConnell. https://t.co/00D5FBcOY7

— Mike Muse (@iammikemuse) June 30, 2020

Since last year, McConnell and McGrath looked past their primaries to skirmish with each other, and now those attacks will intensify heading into the campaign.

Declaring victory, McGrath reached out to Booker's supporters to try to unite the party for the challenge ahead against McConnell, who has dominated Kentucky's political landscape for decades.

"There is far too much at stake," McGrath said in a statement. "The differences that separate Democrats are nothing compared to the chasm that exists between us and the politics and actions of Mitch McConnell. He's destroyed our institutions for far too long."

McConnell

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