KENTUCKY — Amy McGrath has won the Senate primary over Charles Booker as Kentucky finalizes its election results.
"I'm humbled that Kentucky Democrats have nominated me to take on Mitch McConnell in the general election and can't wait to get started in sending him into retirement and finally draining the toxic Washington political swamp that he built," said McGrath in a statement today.
The race between McGrath and Booker has been one of the most closely watched primary elections since its winner takes on Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the fall. Since June 23, results have trickled in, and the lead switched between McGrath and Booker.
Former Marine pilot McGrath appeared to have the nomination in the bag from the start as she raised huge amounts of campaign cash and exchanged attacks with McConnell. However, Booker, a Black state lawmaker, seized momentum in the final weeks of his campaign.
His campaign saw a surge amid national protests over the deaths of African Americans in encounters with police, including the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor by several Louisville Metro Police Department officers. Booker ran as a progressive alternative to McGrath, supporting policies such as Medicare for All and universal basic income. He has picked up endorsements from Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., among others.
McGrath's more moderate campaign advocated for adding a public health insurance option as part of the Obama-era Affordable Care Act and expanding access to Medicare for people 55 and older.
McGrath will be a decided underdog against McConnell, who easily won the GOP primary and will run for a seventh term.
"But there can be no removal of Mitch McConnell without unity. We must unify our Democratic family to make that happen, including those who didn't vote for me in the primary, and I intend, immediately, to start the dialogue necessary to bring us all together in our common cause for the general election," said McGrath's statement. "There is far too much at stake. 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."
Several other primary results will be called today, including six Louisville Metro Council races. Candidates from other key races have already declared victory, including Rep. Thomas Massie (R-4) who faced several challengers. All of our election results can be found on our 2020 Elections page.
A majority of Kentucky's voters opted for mail-in absentee ballots because of the pandemic, taking election officials a week to count and record all the ballots. The deadline for county clerks to submit their vote totals to the secretary of state's office is today by 6 p.m..