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Senate candidate McGrath visits Bardstown restaurant for campaign meet-and-greet

Amy McGrath, right, a Democrat seeking her party’s nomination for U.S. Senate, poses for a photo with Colin Johnson during a standing-room only meet-and-greet event Tuesday at Mammy’s Kitchen.

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020 — It was standing room only in the meeting room of Mammy’s Restaurant at lunch hour Tuesday as local Democrats gathered to welcome U.S. Senate candidate Amy McGrath.

McGrath was in town for a campaign meet-and-greet event Tuesday, preceded by interviews with local media, including a 30-minute segment with Margie Bradford & this writer for next week’s “Bradford & Brooks” radio show on WBRT.

McGrath is one of 10 Democrats seeking the party’s nomination for U.S. Senate, but since the day she announced her intent to run, the attacks she’s endured by incumbent Sen. Mitch McConnell and groups who support his re-election is proof that she is the front-runner Democratic candidddate.

Mike Abell, left, talks with Amy McGrath at Tuesday’s meet-and-greet event at Mammy’s Kitchen.

Her interest in politics began when she was a young teenager. She said she dreamed of becoming a combat fighter pilot, and she wrote to her Kentucky Congressmen asking why the U.S. didn’t allow women to fly in combat.

Then-U.S. Rep. Jim Bunning replied to her letter, basically telling her that the U.S. doesn’t put women in combat situations. Sen. Mitch McConnell did not respond to her letter.

“At 13, I became a one-issue voter before I could vote,” she quipped. “But I’ve never forgotten that I was being structurally shut out” of accomplishing her dream.

“I was only asking for the opportunity to try to qualify to become a combat pilot,” she explained.

When she graduated high school she entered the U.S.. Naval Academy, and then spent 24 years as a U.S. Marine fighter pilot.

Amy McGrath greets visitors during her meet-and-greet event Tuesday.

McGrath was critical of McConnell’s record when it comes to helping improve the lives of average Kentuckians.

While campaigning, she said she focuses on “bread and butter” issues like healthcare, infrastructure — not just roads and bridges, but 21st Century infrastructure like broadband and cellphone coverage.

McGrath said the political divide between parties has made it more difficult to get good legislation through Congress.

“We need leaders who will put their country first,” she said. “Courage to do the right thing is what’s missing.

“You can’t change the culture of Washington until you change the people,” she said. “I will work with any president, Democratic or Republican.”

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