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A Kentucky farmer, ex-Marine wants to challenge Mitch McConnell in 2020 US Senate race  1 Month ago

Source:   USA Today  

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Kentucky Democrats will have more options on next year's ballot when deciding who should take on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2020.

Farmer and retired Marine Mike Broihier, a first-time candidate, entered the race Thursday with a three-minute advertisement that calls on voters to forget their labels.

“It's time to retire Mitch McConnell," Broihier said in an interview with the Louisville Courier Journal this week. "We have to do it to restore our democracy, and I've been warned about what he's capable of doing, but it doesn't scare me."

The spot features a diverse group of Kentuckians holding tiny chalkboards with different slurs and descriptions, such as "baby killer" and "hillbilly" and "queer."

"Labels are powerful things," Broihier says in the ad. "For 35 years, Mitch McConnell has used labels to reinforce old prejudices, divide us, to maintain his grip on power."

Broihier, 57, is a Wisconsin native who moved to the Bluegrass State in 2005 after he and his wife, Lynn, also a retired Marine officer, bought a 75-acre farm in Lincoln County. He said the two have raised grass-fed beef, pastured poultry, pigs and sheep on their farm.

Since living in Kentucky, he has worked as a reporter and editor for The Interior Journal, a small town newspaper which is the third-oldest such publication in the state.

Broihier said being a rural journalist, farmer and military veteran gives him a unique perspective and qualification to run.

"I've been doing this in Kentucky for 15 years, and I really think it's a part of me," he said. "I think I've got a heck of a lot more in common with the people in Kentucky maybe than McConnell ever had."

Broihier is the third Democrat to have officially entered the primary contest, which could be one of the most watched races in 2020.

Health care professional Steve Cox, of Madisonville, entered the race in May but has made little noise since then.

Former Marine Amy McGrath, who has gained the most national attention, has been in the race since last week. She is the presumed frontrunner in the race given her support from party leaders and various major groups such as VoteVets.

McGrath has already raked in more than $5 million, but she stumbled in the first days of her race after saying she would have voted to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Those missteps have spawned concern among many progressive voters and Democratic officials, such as Rep. John Yarmuth, who say that there should be a contested primary election next year.

Other Democrats who are thinking about running include sports radio host Matt Jones, state Rep. Charles Booker, of Louisville, and House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins, of Sandy Hook.

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