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Amy McGrath, Dem Challenger To Mitch McConnell, Raised $2.5 Million On First Day Of Senate Campaign

Former Navy fighter pilot Amy McGrath, who announced her intention to run for U.S. Senator representing the state of Kentucky as a Democrat, raised over $2.5 million in her first 24 hours of her campaign.

Photo by Jason Davis/Getty Images

Mark Nickolas, her campaign manager, explained to NBC affiliate Lex18 that McGrath beat a record for the most funds ever raised by a candidate in the first day of their announcing their run.

All of the donations counted were from online donors, and did not include counts from “traditional” means of raising money — checks written or donation pledges made to the candidate, for example — which means the fundraising total is likely even higher than reported.

Most of the donations, too, were from small donors. The average give was approximately $36.15.

McGrath plans to run against Republican Mitch McConnell, the current Senate Majority Leader, a significant target by Democrats. The win would be a huge one for the party, if it’s successful.

McGrath served 20 years in the armed forces, retiring in 2017. She flew combat missions over Iraq and Afghanistan during that time. She has run for office previously, narrowly losing a congressional seat election in 2018.

She announced her run with a video and a message on Twitter, singling out McConnell as part of what’s wrong with politics in our nation’s capital today.

“Everything that’s wrong with Washington had to start somewhere — it started with him,” McGrath wrote in her introductory message to her campaign video.

McConnell, though serving as the leader of his party in the Senate, is seen as a vulnerable possible pick-up by Democrats in 2020. According to Public Policy Polling poll in February this year, McConnell had a 33 percent approval rating among Kentucky residents, while 56 percent disapproved.

Still, McGrath’s candidacy won’t be a walk in the park: that same poll found that McConnell would defeat a generic Democratic candidate by 3 percentage points.



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