One of Kentucky’s largest newspapers endorses McConnell’s challenger

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The Lexington Herald-Leader, one of Kentucky’s largest newspapers, has endorsed Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) Democratic challenger, Amy McGrath, for the state’s senate seat.

The newspaper wrote in its endorsement that many people feel Kentucky’s senate race is “the most important contest in the country” next to the presidential election, “with the future of our democracy riding on the right choice.”

“During his 36 years in office, McConnell has made it perfectly clear that his only passion is the pursuit of power, his own and that of the Republican Party,” the paper said. “For that reason alone, we would endorse his opponent.”

“Luckily for voters, McGrath, a former fighter pilot and public servant, would make an excellent senator who would actually put the needs and interests of Kentuckians above her own,” it continued.

The paper — which endorsed McGrath’s Democratic primary challenger, Charles Booker, in June — said McGrath understands that people are suffering from McConnell’s failure to address issues that have worsened during the coronavirus pandemic, such as the economy and health care.

McGrath also wants to make sure a case like the Louisville police killing of Breonna Taylor “never happens again” by ending cash bail and preventing “bad officers” from moving from city to city, the paper said. She also supports labor unions and more funding for education and acknowledges climate change while seeing a role for coal.

“We have people going to work right now and have been throughout this coronavirus because they have to make ends meet,” McGrath told the Lexington-Herald editorial board. “Because there’s not paid family leave, and they don’t know how they’ll pay for health care, they don’t know how they’ll pay for food on the table. We’ve got to do this better, and it starts at the top.”

The paper then blasted McConnell for pushing through the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court instead of working to provide coronavirus relief. McGrath also blasted her opponent during their debate for failing to address coronavirus relief, criticism the Senate majority leader laughed off.

After the debate, McConnell said the Senate would vote on a targeted bill that would include aid for small businesses.

“Mitch McConnell has had 36 years to make life better for his fellow Kentuckians, and instead, we are still among the sickest, the hungriest and the least educated,” the paper wrote. “We can do better, and all it will take is a vote for Amy McGrath. We all deserve better, and so does our fragile democracy.”

A Quinnipiac University poll released in September found that McConnell had a 12-point lead over McGrath but that voters had mixed opinions of him.

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