LEXINGTON, Ky. (KT) – Political newcomer Amy McGrath has won the Democratic nomination in Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District and will face Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Barr in the November general election.
McGrath ran her race as a political outsider and a no-nonsense retired U.S. Marine Corps combat fighter pilot who moved back home to Kentucky to challenge Barr, who easily overcame a nominal challenge to win the GOP nomination.
McGrath told her supporters in a victory speech Tuesday evening that voters “want badly to believe in their leaders again.”
“While it was my name on the ballot, it’s really not about me,” she said, telling a boisterous crowd that her victory is “a huge step in fixing a broken Congress.”
McGrath defeated Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and four other Democrats.
Both McGrath and Gray spent more than $1 million for their primary races, largely on round-the-clock TV ads. Gray went negative in his advertising late in the campaign, suggesting that McGrath should have lived in the district longer before running for election.
McGrath remained positive, running clever campaign ads showing herself as a young mother with rambunctious children, a combat veteran who wants to represent Kentucky in Congress.
“I know Andy Barr is in for the fight of his life,” Gray told his supporters in a conciliatory concession speech. “I am ready to help Amy, and I want all of you to help.”
State GOP Chairman Mac Brown described Barr as “one of the hardest working members of Congress” and one who shares the values of Kentuckians.