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McGarvey clinches Louisville congressional seat after Yarmuth retirement

072522_UNION_Heine Bros' Coffee Workers Union press conference_by J. Tyler Franklin_12
Senator Morgan McGarvey lends his support to the Heine Brothers' Coffee Workers attempting to unionize.

Democrat Morgan McGarvey won Kentucky’s 3rd Congressional district, easily defeating Republican opponent businessman Stuart Ray, according to initial returns.

The Associated Press called the race at 8:40 p.m. with McGarvey leading Ray by about 27,000 votes.

McGarvey is a lawyer and minority leader of the Kentucky Senate, heading up a caucus of eight Democrats in the 38-member chamber.

Longtime Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth is not seeking reelection to the seat, which he has held since 2006. This is the first open election for the Louisville-area seat since 1994.

The district has been a Democratic stronghold for more than a decade and has largely remained intact under redistricted political maps, which were drawn by the Republican-led legislature earlier this year.

As the state Senate’s Democratic leader, McGarvey has touted his experience working with Republicans and has argued that he can reach across the aisle without forsaking Democratic values.

Republican candidate Stuart Ray runs The Peregrine Co., a Louisville metals and trucking firm he founded in 1994. He does not have previous political experience and his campaign has focused on inflation and cutting government spending.

McGarvey raised $2.9 million, and received endorsements from his predecessor Yarmuth, Gov. Andy Beshear, prominent Democratic politicians and unions. Ray raised about $600,000 according to campaign filings.McGarvey defeated state Rep. Attica Scott during the primary election.

Divya is LPM's Capitol Reporter. Email Divya at dkarthikeyan@lpm.org.