Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray Jumps In Against Andy Barr... And Amy McGrath


See that video up top? Amy McGrath made a HUGE splash with that video-- at least as big as the splash Randy Bryce made with this one. The video got her almost a million and a half views on YouTube. And was entirely responsible for her raising $800,000-- the 2nd or 3rd biggest haul among Democratic congressional candidates last quarter. She wound up with an interview on Chelsea Handler's show and some more national exposure. But where Bryce's introduction video was a jumping off point that was a foundation that built a platform on which he shined and proved himself far better than the video, Amy's video was the high point of her campaign. She's wasn't ready for a national spotlight and her campaign stumbled... badly. Her second video attempted to replicate the excitement of the first... but it got less than a tenth of the views. Word on the street is that her fundraising has fallen way down this quarter too. She hasn't succeeded in making a compelling case for her candidacy. And this morning, something that started with so much promise hit an iceberg. Lexington's popular mayor, Jim Gray, announced he is running for the same congressional seat.

Being the mayor of the district's biggest population center-- Fayette County provides as many votes in congressional races as the other 18 counties in the district combined, especially in Democratic primaries-- is a major advantage for Gray. And having just come off a Senate race that pitted him against Rand Paul is a plus too. Although he lost statewide 1,090,151 (57.3%) to 813,222 (42.7%)-- outpolling Hillary by almost 200,000 votes and by 10 points-- he won KY-06. And, more important, he took Fayette County 82,401 (60.4%) to 54,064 (39.6%). He also won Franklin County 58.1% to 41.9% and Nicholas County more narrowly. Trump won KY-06 54.7% to 39.4% but there were thousands of voters who cast their ballots for Trump and then switched to Gray in this R+9 district. But before Gray can take on Republican Andy Barr, will he be able to beat McGrath? Every pro I spoke to this morning said, basically, "yes, hands down."
After months of will-he, won’t-he whisperings among Kentucky Democrats, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray made it official early Tuesday-- he’s running for Congress.

“I experienced the American Dream … but that American Dream is threatened...” Gray said as he announced his candidacy Tuesday morning in Berea. “This is why I’m running for Congress.”

Gray enters the race as the presumed favorite in a Democratic field that includes former Marine Corps fighter pilot Amy McGrath, state Sen. Reggie Thomas and perennial candidate Geoff Young.

...As the first openly gay candidate to run for statewide office in Kentucky, Gray won around 51 percent of the vote in Central Kentucky’s Sixth Congressional District during his failed 2016 bid to unseat U.S. Sen. Rand Paul. President Donald Trump won the district by 15 points.

Gray has the ability to self-finance a campaign, having spent $2.5 million of his own money over the course of his Senate campaign.

But he’s playing catch-up.

Bolstered by national media attention-- including an appearance on The Chelsea Handler show in Los Angeles-- McGrath had raised more than $800,000 and had $551,500 on hand in October.

“I love our chances if he gets in,” McGrath campaign manager Mark Nickolas said in a Nov. 21 Facebook post. “It’s a possibility that I’ve been planning for since word leaked in May that he was considering jumping in. If he does, it will be a rough and expensive primary.”

Gray’s announcement kicks off a tour of all 19 counties in the District over the course of Tuesday and Wednesday.

“I’ve talked to many people in this district. Many of them are mad as hell, many of them are scared as hell,” Gray said Tuesday morning. “That’s why I’m making this race.”
Is there an actual progressive in the race? Not in terms of national politics, although by "Kentucky standards," kind of both of them... in a centrist kind of way. McGrath's DCCC-style website lists no issues and no positions and no platform. It's just about who she, not about the voters. That's always the mark of a loser. Gray hasn't put up a website yet but his Senate website was as pathetic as McGrath's-- no issues, no platform, no nothin'. Unless there are some big changes, don't expect a Blue America endorsement in this race. Here he was at Fancy Farm last year:

Labels: , , , , ,


At 4:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got news for Mr. Gray. That American dream is a smoldering hole. Has been since the '80s.

Unless your dream is to be born rich and get richer. That dream still lives.


Post a Comment

<< Home