© 2022 Louisville Public Media

Public Files:
89.3 WFPL · 90.5 WUOL-FM · 91.9 WFPK

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact info@lpm.org or call 502-814-6500
89.3 WFPL News | 90.5 WUOL Classical 91.9 WFPK Music | KyCIR Investigations
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Mitch McConnell Wins Seventh Term In U.S. Senate

US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks at a press conference at the US Capitol on September 22, 2020 in Washington, DC, as McConnell said in a statement that the Senate would take up President Donald Trumps nominee for the Supreme Court following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. - There is "overwhelming precedent behind the fact that this Senate will vote on this nomination this year," said Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, dismissing comparisons to when GOP members refused in 2016 to vote on a replacement nominated by President Barack Obama for the late Justice Antonin Scalia. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP) (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)
AFP via Getty Images
/
US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks at a press conference at the US Capitol on September 22, 2020 in Washington, DC, as McConnell said in a statement that the Senate would take up President Donald Trumps nominee for the Supreme Court following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. - There is

This story has been updated

Mitch McConnell has won his seventh term in the U.S. Senate, defeating Democratic challenger Amy McGrath, according to the Associated Press.

Shortly after 9:00 p.m., McConnell was ahead of McGrath by 20 percentage points statewide.

The final results of the race will be tallied up as remaining in-person and mail-in votes are reported by county clerk’s offices across the state.

In his victory speech delivered at the Omni Hotel in Louisville, McConnell said that the results mean that voters wanted “proven leadership” for challenging times.

“Our nation will need Kentucky values and Kentucky ideas to defeat this virus and regain our footing,” McConnell said.

As he did during the campaign, McConnell touted his role leading the senate, where he helped craft the CARES act earlier this year.

McConnell’s opponent, Amy McGrath, criticized him for not passing another coronavirus relief bill before the election despite the escalation of the virus.

Polls showed McConnell ahead of McGrath throughout this year’s race.

McConnell gave a brief nod to McGrath during his victory speech, applauding her “willingness to step forward" and run.

But he also said that the electing shows that Kentuckians want to keep “our front row seat in the Senate.”

“We’re not finished yet. Kentucky wants more of the policies that built the best economy in modern history, not socialism that would stifle prosperity and hurt workers,” McConnell said.

In a statement, McGrath said she knew she was an underdog from the start of the race.

"But together, we built a campaign unlike any Kentucky has ever seen and got closer to a victory than anyone thought possible," McGrath wrote. "We shattered organizing and grassroots donor records. And we forced Mitch’s special interest allies to swoop in to rescue him in the final days."

McGrath won a closer-than-expected primary election against state Rep. Charles Booker, who gained popularity late in the primary race amid protests over racial injustice in Louisville and around the country.

The election was an expensive one. McGrath raised over $88 million for her challenge. McConnell raised almost $56 million.

Initial results showed McGrath leading McConnell only in the Democratic strongholds of Jefferson, Fayette and Franklin Counties while McConnell was leading in the rest of the state.

First elected in 1984, McConnell has led Republicans in the Senate since 2007, initially as minority leader and then as majority leader starting in 2015.

Ryland Barton is the Managing Editor for Collaboratives. Email Ryland at rbarton@lpm.org.