McGrath discusses primary, COVID-19 and racial justice

McGrath discusses primary, COVID-19 and racial justice

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - With the 2020 Kentucky Primary Election in the books, Democrat Amy McGrath is looking to unseat Senator Mitch McConnell in November.

McGrath beat Charles Booker by about 3 percent of the vote last month.

Last week, McGrath said she was feeling great, and was excited by the turnout she saw. She attributed that to Democrats being fired up over a chance to vote out the incumbent McConnell.

She said she hopes to see mail-in voting continue in the fall, adding that she doesn’t believe the state will be out of the coronavirus pandemic by then.

McGrath said people who want to should be able to vote in person in some way, too.

During an interview with WAVE 3 News on Monday, she called for unity with Charles Booker supporters headed into the General Election.

“He ran a very inspiring campaign at a really important time,” McGrath said. “To his supporters, I hear you. I want change, too.”

WAVE 3 News asked McGrath where she stood on several issues likely to be on the minds of voters this fall. When it comes to the next round of congressional COVID-19 relief, she said state and local government assistance should be the priority.

"These are jobs," she said. "These are public servants. These aren't big CEOs. These are your bus drivers, your teachers, your school systems, your firefighters. We need to protect them."

McGrath added that unemployment insurance should be extended, and that she’s disappointed in the lack of national guidance when it comes to the virus, primarily in the form of a testing plan.

When it comes to racial justice, McGrath said police reform is a big part of that, but changes need to be made elsewhere, too.

“Beyond that, we have to tackle the real racial injustice that we see in this country in terms of education, inequality, lack of opportunity, health care,” McGrath said. “Black Americans are dying at twice the rate from COVID-19 as White Americans. It’s unacceptable.”

When asked if she supports defunding the police, she said having police is important, but communities ought to be able to reevaluate how funds are spent.

McGrath said the community should learn from the findings of the investigation into the killing of Breonna Taylor.

"A swift accountability with an independent investigation," she said. "It's one of the things that I think we can do at the federal level. To make sure that any time that something like this happens, there is an automatic independent investigation because families deserve that and communities deserve that."

As to whether the investigation is happening quickly enough, McGrath said she is not an expert in the field.

"If you had to ask me about investigations into aircraft mishaps, I'm a pilot," she said. "I could tell you those take a long time to get it right. But I don't know the answer to that question. I think that we need to work to make it as swift as possible, to make it as accurate as possible and to make it as transparent as possible."

McGrath added that she thinks a ban on no-knock warrants is reasonable. Louisville’s Metro Council passed recently Breonna’s Law outlawing such warrants, and Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers announced last week he is drafting similar legislation that would ban no-knock warrants statewide.

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