Victory

Retired Marine Amy McGrath upsets favorite in primary for Kentucky seat in U.S. Congress

Retired Marine Amy McGrath speaks to supporters after winning the Kentucky 6th Congressional District Democratic primary. (Hillary Thornton / Twitter)

Amy McGrath, the retired Marine who is the first woman to ever fly an F-18 in combat, soared to a victory Tuesday night in the Democratic primary for Kentucky’s 6th Congressional district. McGrath dispatched Jim Gray, the mayor of Lexington, and four other opponents setting her up for a November showdown against the incumbent Republican U.S. Representative Andy Barr. The district was won easily by Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, and Barr also won his race by 22 points at the time, according to The New York Times.

“Six months ago, political pundits and establishment insiders didn’t think we could pull this off,” McGrath told supporters in her victory speech. “Did you ever show them!” Indeed, as recently as December, McGrath was a long shot to pull out a victory. But a recent poll showed she’d staged a remarkable turnaround in the race, actually swinging the vote in her favor with a month to go until Primary Day. According to Decision Desk HQ elections analyst J. Miles Coleman, McGrath dominated the vote, carrying every county in the district except for Fayetteville, Gray’s home county — a result that showcased the the urban-rural divide among voters.

McGrath, who spent 20 years in the Marines, showed repeatedly that despite being a newcomer to politics, she isn’t afraid of a little political combat and ran on a strong anti-establishment message. She is part of a larger wave of women seeking political office following the election of Trump and her victory in the primary is seen as a bellwether for what may be to come in the 2018 midterm elections. McGrath closed out her victory speech Tuesday night by imploring supporters, “Let’s go win another one!” Watch a highlight of her rally cry below.

McGrath has been a guest on Women in the World stage multiple times. Most recently she appeared onstage in March at the D.C. salon in the nation’s capital, where she talked about how she’s not afraid to mix it up in the rough-and-tumble world of politics, and often willingly puts herself in hostile environments. “I like conflict,” she told the audience at the event. “It’s why I go on conservative talk radio — it gives me a chance to go to battle again.”

Watch the full video and highlights of the panel McGrath appeared on below.

Read the full story at The Associated Press.

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