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McGrath Comes Up Short In Dramatic 6th District Contest

AP Photo/Bryan Woolston
Democratic congressional candidate Amy McGrath speaks to supporters after conceding loss during an election night event in Richmond, Ky., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.

Democrats in Kentucky's 6th congressional district began Tuesday night with hopes of unseating a seasoned three-term Republican in Congressman Andy Barr, but the evening ended with concessions and a call to keep fighting. 

Democrat Amy McGrath rocketed to national prominence with a viral campaign ad in 2017, going on to upset Lexington Mayor Jim Gray in the Democratic primary.

While polls showed a tight race, McGrath supporters appeared confident their candidate could beat the odds. But the final tally had the retired fighter pilot losing by nearly 10,000 votes. Tuesday night, McGrath said she was proud of her campaign, which steered clear of standard political attack ads.

"I was unwilling, and will remain unwilling, to be part of the problem," the first-time candidate said to applause. 

She went on to urge backers to keep the faith.

"We all must remain engaged and not allow setbacks to be the reason that we give up," McGrath pleaded. "Do not give up on our country. Do not."

One supporter told WUKY she hopes McGrath will consider running for office again – a possibility the candidate left open in her remarks, saying she will continue to “remain an active voice in Kentucky.”

Discussing her concession call to Congressman Barr, the Democrat said, "I care about the political discourse in our country and where it's going and I made that clear to him." 

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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