Sixth Congressional District Democratic primary candidate retired Lt. Col. Amy McGrath explained her decision to seek political office after retiring from the Marine Corps as an opportunity to continue her service and bring leadership to the country.
McGrath found herself about to retire from a 20-year career in the armed services during the 2016 election, and was compelled to do something in response to the election of President Donald Trump.
“The actual campaign changed me — the fake news, the idea that we were so polarized, the misinformation in that campaign, and then of course the result — waking up the next morning and realizing what have we done,” She said. “How did we get here? And what can I do to change things?”
McGrath said she came to the realization that she should seek office and can change the narrative in American politics.
“I think we need leaders who are more honest with people, who come from all walks of life, who don’t grow up in a political party, who actually have served their country and put their country first,” McGrath said. “I think when we have those types of leaders we’ll get to an America that embraces American values like equal opportunity for everyone, recognizing that diversity is good, trying to work towards an economy that works for everyone.”
McGrath said those values would come if leaders can put aside partisanship and work for the benefit of the people.
While McGrath is currently seeking the Democratic nomination to take on U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington, she is likely to encounter negative political attacks from both sides of the aisle.
McGrath is a native of Kenton Co., but has spent the past 20 years out-of-state following a career in the military. The 42-year old McGrath, her husband and three kids located to Georgetown, Kentucky before running for office, likely sparking some rivals to label her a “carpetbagger.”
“As for what I’ve been doing the last 20 years, I’ve been serving my country. And every holiday, every Christmas when I wasn’t overseas in a tent somewhere I was here in Kentucky,” she said. “This really is my home it’s where I spent most years of my life, it is here.”
Living a military life, McGrath said she’s moved every couple of years following that service, but she hopes Kentucky voters will understand that and see her experiences around the world as a positive.
McGrath weighed in on several major policy issues while on set with Pure Politics this week; she discussed fixes to the Affordable Care Act, Kentucky’s struggling coal economy, foreign policy and relations with North Korea as well as changes to DACA.
State Sen. Reginald Thomas, D-Lexington, announced his run for the office at the beginning of July. Geoff Young, who has run for this seat twice before, is also running in the Democratic primary.