Kentucky Senate candidate Amy McGrath’s three-minute campaign launch video retells her personal story of getting no answer to letters to members of Congress, then features four Kentuckians writing to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for help with personal crises.
The video implies that McConnell never responded, but it appears the letters were sent Tuesday, the same day that McGrath announced her bid for the Democratic nomination to challenge him.
A spokesman for McConnell told CQ Roll Call on Friday that the senator’s Louisville office received three of the four letters featured in the video on Thursday. They were postmarked on Tuesday .
“Throughout Senator McConnell’s entire Senate service, he has prioritized constituent correspondence and takes seriously his responsibility to hear from and respond to Kentuckians,” Kentucky Communications Director Robert Steurer said in a statement. “In fact, since he was elected to the Senate, he has sent more than 4 million pieces of correspondence to his constituents.”
McGrath spokeswoman Tina Olechowski said the video simply showed Kentuckians who had shared their stories with McGrath and “wanted to write and send a letter” to McConnell.
“Their stories represent the concerns of thousands of Kentuckians and they would love the opportunity to sit down with Senator Mitch McConnell in person to tell them what they’ve been going through in their daily lives,” she said.
The video told stories of four Kentuckians, including a coal miner, a steelworker, a woman with diabetes at risk of losing health insurance and a student. It shows each of them writing a letter — three by hand and one on a computer.
The McGrath campaign provided copies of the letters, one of which is dated June 27, 2019. The letters were written, “in real time,” while the video was being filmed, but the coal miner in the video had previously sent two emails to McConnell without a response, according to McGrath’s campaign.
McGrath’s video, titled “The Letter,” opens with her talking about writing to McConnell and other members of the state delegation when she was 13 about wanting to fly fighter jets in combat. She said McConnell never responded.
“I’ve often wondered how many other people did Mitch McConnell never take the time to write back. Or even think about,” McGrath says in the video.
McGrath’s entrance in the race was highly anticipated by Democrats after she raised $8.5 million in an unsuccessful challenge to Rep. Andy Barr last year. With numerous candidates sharing her Twitter announcement to their followers and encouraging them to help her oust McConnell, McGrath raised $2.5 million during the campaign’s first 24 hours.
But she stumbled out of the gate when she told the Louisville Courier-Journal she would have voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and then retracting that position after a firestorm of criticism from fellow Democrats.