The centrist Dem Amy McGrath defeats Charles Booker in the primary for Kentucky to confront McConnell

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The candidate to the Senate of the united States, Amy McGrath. (Ryan C. Hermens / Lexington Herald-Leader via AP)

The lieutenant colonel retired from the Marine Corps Amy McGrath survived a tight primary race in Kentucky to win the democratic nomination for the Senate of the united states. UU. On the progressive state senator Charles Booker.

McGrath, backed by tens of millions in donations and the support of the minority leader of the Senate, Chuck Schumer, had accumulated enough votes by mail, to survive to an increase in the person of Booker. The ex-pilot of F / A-18, 45-year-old now embarks on a quest to the long-term to defeat the majority leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell.

Booker, 35, entered the race in January and reached out to McGrath, despite his huge advantage in fundraising and name recognition, based on a viral ad for an offer failed by a post in the House in 2018. Gained momentum in the midst of the protests that followed the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, who was murdered by the police in the hometown of Booker, Louisville.

“Standing in the streets crying with people facing trauma, the same trauma that my cousins killed in the last four years, the community has actually taken note,” said Booker in the last days of the campaign. “It has been a great momentum in the fundraising, a big boost in support.”

The race crystallized an ongoing debate between the national democrats on the right strategy to follow in red states like Kentucky: to nominate a candidate centrist (preferably with military background) that you can take off the republican voters at the margin, or to a candidate’s progressive (especially one of color, like Booker) that may motivate black voters.

McGrath raised $ 41 million since he entered the race so the June 3, against approximately $ 800,000 for Booker, which saw a rise in the last few weeks. According to Open Secrets, more than 96 percent of the fundraising McGrath came from another state, compared to 54 percent for Booker.

The election day was the 23 of June, but due to a flood of absentee ballots, the results were maintained for a week as they are tabulated. In the week prior to the last day of voting in person, McGrath spent $ 3.1 million in television advertising.

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Public opinion polls in the race had been scarce, but a survey published earlier this month showed Booker with a lead of 8 points. Mike Broihier, a farmer and former colonel of the Navy, was the third candidate in the race and gained the endorsement of the local chapter of Indivisible, a leading progressive group.

McGrath was supported by the Campaign Committee of the Senate, Democratic in February, but Booker won the endorsement of the two most important newspapers of the state, the popular presenter of sports Matt Jones (who had also considered an escape) and Alison Lundergan Grimes, the exsecretaria of State of Kentucky who was The democratic candidate for the Senate against McConnell in 2014.

The progressive national prominent, including senator Bernie Sanders, senator Elizabeth Warren and representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also endorsed Booker.

The Louisville Courier-Journal chided the national democrats by the early support of McGrath, who fought with the launch of his campaign last summer when he said he would have voted to confirm Supreme Court judge Brett Kavanaugh before reversing course and saying that he would not. His campaign received a letter of cease and desist of the coal miners who said they not allowed to be used in a political advertisement.

“We also believe that the national Democratic Party was too quick to offer its full support and its apparatus of fundraising for a candidate who’s never held public office and came out staggered as he announced his candidacy,” wrote the paper’s editorial board in its endorsement of Booker. .

While McConnell is personally unpopular in Kentucky, has refused repeatedly to challenging the democrats and republicans in previous cycles. Also be on the ballot with president Trump, who won the state by 30 points in 2016. The democrats won a tight race for governor in 2019, but McConnell won his last race against Grimes, by 16 points.

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