Former Marine pilot Amy McGrath is projected to narrowly win the Kentucky Democratic Senate primary, beating progressive Charles Booker to challenge Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in the November election.
According to the Associated Press, McGrath had a nearly 9,500-vote advantage over Booker with 89% of precincts reporting Tuesday afternoon. MSNBC‘s Steve Kornacki reported that McGrath received 45% of the votes while Booker got 43%, with 93% of precincts reporting.
Although voting in the state ended on June 23, McGrath was declared the winner a week later due to the race’s tight margins and a surge of mail-in ballots. Kentucky switched to widespread absentee voting amid the coronavirus pandemic, requiring election officials to spend more days counting ballots.
McGrath gained the support of several establishment Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), making her an initial favorite in the race combined with a large fundraising advantage over Booker.
Booker, who was widely revered among progressive lawmakers and groups, mounted a tougher challenge than expected as his profile grew in light of highlighting police brutality protests against the deaths of African Americans.