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Kentucky Democrat Amy McGrath Announces 2020 Challenge to McConnell

Amy McGrath in Richmond, Ky., November 6, 2018. (John Sommers II/Reuters)

Kentucky Democrat Amy McGrath on Tuesday announced that she will run to unseat Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell in 2020.

The former Marine fighter pilot and mother of three, who lost her 2018 bid to defeat Republican representative Andy Barr, made her announcement in a video message posted to Twitter.

McGrath says in the video that she wrote a letter when she was 13 to McConnell, her senator, telling him she wanted to fly fighter jets in combat.

“He never wrote back,” McGrath says in the video. “I’ve often wondered, how many other people did Mitch McConnell never take the time to write back or even think about.”

“Everything that’s wrong with Washington had to start somewhere — it started with him,” she wrote in an accompanying tweet.

McGrath argued that “the things that Kentuckians voted for Trump for are not being done” thanks to McConnell, who she explained has blocked legislation his constituents supported, such as measures that would have lowered drug pricing.

McGrath ran in 2018 on a platform of keeping the Affordable Care Act in place with the ultimate goal of universal health-care coverage, including for undocumented immigrants, but does not support eliminating private health insurance.

“I think many Kentuckians feel that we have a problem with getting health insurance for many Americans, so we need to fix that first,” she said during a Tuesday appearance on MSNBC.

She also supported abortion rights as well as legalizing medical marijuana and investing in renewable energy.

“I am further left, I am more progressive, than anyone in the state of Kentucky,” McGrath said during a fundraiser in 2018.

She retired from the Marines two years ago as a lieutenant colonel after 89 combat missions, which included bombings of al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

McConnell has held his a seat in the Senate since 1985.

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