It was cold, windy morning in Kentucky. I happened to be there for the Tax March Conference and was invited to attend a Meet the Senate Candidate forum. I jumped at the chance. If you are not in Kentucky, all you hear about is Amy McGrath and I wanted to see what local Kentuckians had to say.
First off, there are a total of 10 Democratic candidates running in the primary, which is May 19, 4 of whom attended this event.
The event was held at Roots 101, an African American Museum. Roots 101 mission is to promote understanding and inspire appreciation of the achievements, contributions and experiences of African Americans. They generously donated the space for the standing room only crowd that attended.
A local organization, Together We Will, was the event organizer. When asked why they decided to put this on, they had this to say: “Democracy dies in darkness. It is imperative that Kentucky chooses the right candidate to beat Mitch McConnell. The only way to do that is to make sure that all the candidates are seen and heard; it is our goal to make sure that they are.”
Many people around the country who have been watching Kentucky and have had great interest in this Senate race might assume that Amy McGrath is the chosen candidate, but the race is far from settled.
I was struck by the support that many candidates had and was amazed to learn that McGrath is not the front-runner among locals. I heard from many people that grassroots support is behind Charles Booker, a current State House Representative, and Mike Broihier, a farmer and Veteran.
Grassroots organizations and activists across Kentucky were instrumental in flipping the Governor’s seat, and their opinion is not to be taken lightly. It is crucial to view every race through the eyes of the people doing the work, and not a national lens.
Here are a few of the candidates in their own words.
The People’s Campaign had this to say: “We are looking forward to a good, competitive primary election. Matt Bevin was the least popular Governor, and Mitch McConnell is the least popular Senator.” They also recently launched The No More Mitch Campaign.
One thing was perfectly clear, the local groups are asking for ALL candidates to have a shot.
Let’s meet all 10 candidates.
- Jimmy Ausbrooks
- Charles Booker
- Mike Broihier
- Steve Cox
- Maggie Jo Hilliard
- Andrew Maynard
- Amy McGrath
- Eric Rothmuller
- John Sharpensteen
- Bennie Smith
There was widespread agreement on one point though: the belief that Kentuckians have that they can absolutely DITCH MITCH!
As we were leaving, a group decided to stop by Mitch’s office with a little message for him:
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