LEXINGTON, Ky. — The field for those vying for a chance to take on U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is set and it’s crowded. Ten Democrats have filed to run in the Democratic primary.
One of those candidates is retired U.S. Marine and farmer Mike Broihier, since announcing in July Broihier has been crisscrossing the state meeting with voters who say their top concern remains to be healthcare.
“People are still worried about their healthcare, they are still worried about being one accident or illness away from bankruptcy, and that’s really something that hasn’t changed in the last three years at all,” Broihier said. “What I’m also hearing is a lot of enthusiasm after November’s election, people are energized.”
Democrat Andy Beshear’s victory over Republican Matt Bevin has the base fired up Broihier says, especially among educators. He believes they will keep the excitement until November 2020.
“They’re not taking a break, they’re planning, they are going to expand their operations, they are going to get more people to knock on doors,” he said. “That enthusiasm that spread across the state I think is going to be sustained through the General Election in 2020.”
Broihier faces an uphill battle when it comes to fundraising, especially with fellow Democratic candidate Amy McGrath amassing a war chest. The latest FEC records show McGrath has $6.7 million cash on hand, despite that Broihier remains confident in his campaign.
“I’m completely undaunted by Amy McGrath’s campaign,” Broihier said. “This turn to accepting black money and super PAC money that’s kind of a turn to the dark side and I know they call the super PAC Fight Fire with Fire but as progressive we like to hold ourselves to a higher standard, we are against Citizens United and the destructive force of money in politics and I think Kentuckians will be unimpressed, I don’t think they care how much money someone has in the bank.”
Another challenge for Broihier is the announcement of Louisville State Rep. Charles Booker jumping into the race as well. Booker is another progressive candidate who is running on the Kentucky New Deal, similar to the Green New Deal and universal income among other things. Broihier says his campaign is focused on helping those in poverty in Louisville and the rest of the state.
“My campaign is across Kentucky and the idea is not allow us to be compartmentalized, as I’m a Louisville guy or the urban-rural divide,” he said. “Here are people in Martin County that can’t afford drinking water, their need for social and economic justice is just as important, and they have more in common with people in the West End of Louisville than other people want them to believe because that’s what keeps them apart and from voting for progressive ideas.”
When it comes to impeachment, Broiher says he supports a fair and thorough trial in the Senate.
“I think if there is a fair and thorough trial run in the Senate it will be inevitable that is removed from office,” he said.
Something Broihier does not support was the killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.
“It looked too much like an assassination to me and as we’ve seen the story unfold the justification for doing has changed day to day to day,” he said. “I don’t support backing out of the Paris Accord, we had a functioning agreement with Iran that stopped producing nuclear material and we walked away from it.”
Broihier is also concerned with the United States sending Saudi Arabia troops for money.
“I think our defending Saudi Arabia is inexplicable it is a non-democratic country, they have a horrible record for civil rights, they are prosecuting a war in Yemen, bombing women and children with weapons that we’ve sold them and the fact that for $1 billion they can get a brigade of soldiers, how many American lives can you buy with $1 billion,” he said.