Despite running a campaign in a conservative state, Democrat Amy McGrath is confident she can unseat Republican Mitch McConnell, who is the Senate majority leader and has been a U.S. senator since 1985.
“Lots and lots of Kentuckians don’t like the job that he’s doing because he’s so disconnected,” she said. “He’s a creature of Washington.”
McGrath stopped Tuesday at Bub’s Cafe in Elizabethtown to talk with local residents about various issues. McGrath is running to represent Kentucky in the U.S. Senate in the 2020 election and previously ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. House of Representatives. She lives in Georgetown, served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 20 years and went on 89 combat missions.
During her time in Elizabethtown, McGrath spoke on numerous topics including her background, health care, the Martin County water crisis, infrastructure and McConnell.
The biggest challenges facing Kentuckians today are affordable health care and the opioid crisis, McGrath said.
“It is hurting the workforce in Kentucky. It’s hurting job growth in Kentucky,” she added.
McGrath also commented on the high price of prescription drugs in Kentucky. According to The Senior List, Kentuckians pay an average annual per-capita expense of $2,111 for prescription drugs, the second-highest in the nation.
McGrath suggested importing drugs from Canada and to have Medicare negotiate drug prices to help lower prescription drug prices.
“He has no interest in helping everyday Kentuckians. He has an interest in helping his big donors,” McGrath said of McConnell.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, McConnell has received about $1.3 million in donations from pharmaceutical and health products companies between 1989 and now.
McGrath compared the water crisis in Martin County, an eastern Kentucky county with crumbling water infrastructure, to the Flint, Michigan, water crisis.
“What happened in Martin County is even worse than Flint,” she said. “We have lawmakers that care more about partisan politics than trying to fix some of these basic infrastructure problems that we have in Kentucky and I think this goes right to the heart of why Mitch McConnell has to go.”
McGrath also touched upon improving infrastructure in the state, referencing a comment made by McConnell that a change to tax law to pay for infrastructure is a “non-starter.”
“Infrastructure is what we need to do to spur job growth. It’s what we need to do to take care of Kentuckians,” she said. “Not only do we need to fix the water in these counties, we also need to fix roads and bridges.”
If elected, McGrath would be the first female U.S. senator to represent Kentucky. The primary and general elections are next year.