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Mitch McConnell facing 2020 challenge from former fighter pilot

A Kentucky Democrat has launched a bid to topple the Senate majority leader

Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will have to defend his seat next year, as a retired Marine fighter pilot has launched a bid to topple the self-professed "Grim Reaper" of socialist legislation.

What are the details?

Democrat Amy McGrath, 44, announced her campaign Tuesday with a video wherein she hits out at McConnell for not responding to a letter she wrote him when she was 13 years old. McGrath goes on to assert that "everything that's wrong in Washington" started with the McConnell's election to the Senate "a lifetime ago."

According to The Washington Post, McGrath is "a high-profile" challenger for McConnell, after she garnered national attention in her losing bid against Rep. Garland "Andy" Barr (R-Ky.) in 2018. The Post reported that McGrath "has remained in the political spotlight since." CNN called her a "Democratic celebrity."

But Politico noted that McGrath "faces a serious uphill challenge" against McConnell, who became a U.S. senator in 1984 and has served as GOP leader since 2007.

Who is Amy McGrath?

McGrath's campaign website does not detail her platform, which is described as "anti-corruption, anti-obstruction, and anti-b.s." It does, however, provide her biography, pointing to her accomplishment of becoming "the first woman in the Marine Corps to fly a combat mission in an F/A-18 fighter jet."

The Georgetown, Kentucky, resident flew 89 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan during her 20-year tenure in the Marines.

She is married to Erik Henderson, a former military service member who is a lifelong Republican. They have three children.

Anything else?

The Hill reported Tuesday that Democrats are looking to "demonize" McConnell in their 2020 campaigns, pointing to his low approval ratings and reputation as a "roadblock" in the Senate. The 77-year-old is running for his seventh term next year.

In 2014, Sen. McConnell won re-election with a nearly 16-point lead over his opponent. His campaign has already come out using McGrath's own words against her, posting a video showing the Democrat claiming to be "further left" and "more progressive than anybody in the state of Kentucky."

One last thing…
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