Winning his seventh term representing Kentucky in the U.S. Senate, Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has defeated Democratic challenger and retired Marine Corps Lt. Col. Amy McGrath. McConnell took 55% of the vote to McGrath’s 41%.
McConnell, who first took office in 1985, was elected the Senate’s majority leader after the 2014 election, and before that served as its minority leader from 2007 to 2015. McConnell is the longest-serving Republican Senate leader in history. Recently, he’s faced close, high-profile races -- in 2014, he defeated Alison Lundergan-Grimes with 56% of the vote to her 41%, and in 2008 won re-election over Bruce Lunsford with 53% of the vote to his 47%.
As President Donald Trump’s top ally on Capitol Hill, McConnell led efforts to defend the president during his impeachment acquittal in the Senate. He also worked with Trump on a tax overhaul and orchestrated Senate confirmation of more than 200 judicial appointments, including Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
"The trust of the people of Kentucky has literally changed my life," McConnell said in an victory address to supporters. "Our nation will need Kentucky ideas and Kentucky values to defeat this virus."
Kentucky Republican Party chairman Mac Brown issued a statement in response to McConnell's victory.
“Tonight is a great night for Kentucky," Brown said. "From fighting for Kentucky jobs and businesses and remaking the federal judiciary, to enacting the largest rescue package in American history, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delivers results for Kentuckians time and time again.”
McGrath, a retired Marine Corps pilot, campaigned strongly on healthcare for all and on getting funding for necessary infrastructure projects like the Brent Spence Bridge.
“Brent Spence Bridge is America’s number one infrastructure emergency,” she said on Oct. 25. “We have to fix this, and we can do it without tolls, and that is what I am saying I will do.”
In a recorded concession speech posted to Twitter, McGrath thanked supporters for fighting for her campaign.
"Today it is my sincere hope that our country can start to heal after these ugly and divisive four years," she said. "We helped propel this blue wave over the last two cycles, and I am so grateful I got to do my part."
I’m so proud of what this grassroots campaign achieved. This race was never about me - or Mitch McConnell - it was about Kentuckians. The legacy of this campaign will be that we don’t have to accept politics as usual. I look forward to building a better future for Kentucky. pic.twitter.com/SHlweJof1I— Amy McGrath (@AmyMcGrathKY) November 4, 2020
In a 2018 run for Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District, McGrath lost to Republican Rep. Andy Barr.