Mitch McConnell officially launches re-election campaign


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell officially launched his re-election campaign Wednesday with an ad touting his ties to President Trump and the confirmation of two conservative Supreme Court justices in two years.

The ad begins by highlighting the Senate majority leader’s refusal to consider Merrick Garland, President Obama’s pick to replace the late Supreme Court Justic Antonin Scalia, eight months before the 2016 election. McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, kept the seat open in the hopes that President Trump would be elected and nominate conservative justices — a bet that paid off.

The ad then touts the confirmation of Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, which tilted the balance of the court toward a conservative majority. On more local issues, it highlights McConnell’s role in passing the farm bill, which benefited Kentucky farmers.

Mr. Trump, who handily won Kentucky in the 2016 election, is a constant presence in the ad. The video ends with the president referring to McConnell as “Kentucky tough.”

McConnell has been in the Senate since 1985 and the majority leader since 2015. Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes launched a credible challenge against the longtime senator in 2014, but McConnell still won with 56 percent of the vote.

A few prominent Democrats in the state are mulling a challenge to McConnell, including Amy McGrath, who narrowly lost a House race in the state in 2018. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and radio host Matt Jones have also been mentioned as potential challengers.

First published on April 17, 2019 / 12:33 PM

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Grace Segers

Grace Segers is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.


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