Report: Schumer Has a Handpicked Candidate Who May Challenge McConnell Next Year

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Posted: Feb 12, 2019 11:35 PM
Report: Schumer Has a Handpicked Candidate Who May Challenge McConnell Next Year

Source: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has reportedly tapped fighter pilot Amy McGrath to run against Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) during the 2020 election. If true, the fight could make things even more tense between Schumer and McConnell than they already are. 

According to POLITICO, McConnell's team is already gearing up for a fight:

McConnell, the longest-serving Senate GOP leader, is gearing up for a reelection fight and leaving little to chance. His political team has begun compiling opposition research on McGrath and delving into tracking footage of her. On Wednesday, senior Republican Party officials involved with a pro-McConnell super PAC will meet in Washington to begin mapping out a potential campaign against McGrath.

The Republican leader has also tapped a 2020 campaign manager: Kevin Golden, a veteran party operative who worked on McConnell’s 2014 reelection bid and oversaw Tennessee Republican Marsha Blackburn’s successful 2018 Senate campaign.

In 2018, McGarth ran unsuccessfully for Congress. McConnell's team is reportedly looking into her 2018 race against Andy Barr, as well as opposition research that includes past statements, positions and years of video footage. 

McConnell has over $4 million in his campaign war chest. He's also expected to receive political donations from Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, a pro-McConnell political action committee. 

McGarth originally met with Schumer, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairwoman Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Scott Fairchild and Devan Barber back in December. She has yet to decide whether or not she'll challenge McConnell next year. 

“The military officer in her always approaches these things pretty methodically and thoughtfully,” McGarth aide Mark Nickolas told POLITICO.

Editor's Note: The headline has been updated to reflect that McGarth is still weighing a run against McConnell.