Debate set in McConnell-McGrath Senate race in Kentucky

  • (AP photos)
    (AP photos)
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U.S. Kentucky Senate candidates Mitch McConnell and Amy McGrath. (AP photos)


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky voters will get a chance to compare Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and his Democratic challenger Amy McGrath in the give-and-take of a televised debate.

After considerable wrangling by the campaigns, McGrath on Friday accepted an invitation to participate in an Oct. 12 debate on Gray Television's Kentucky-based stations. McConnell, the Senate majority leader, had accepted the offer weeks ago.

The debate will come one day before early in-person voting starts. Absentee ballots have started going out to voters as the state offers more options to cast ballots because of the coronavirus.

McGrath said that Kentuckians "deserve a debate in this critical race, so they can make a more informed decision when casting their ballots." McConnell's campaign said it's pleased the matchup is set, with spokeswoman Kate Cooksey saying "we are looking forward to a spirited conversation."

The rivals in the big-spending campaign have spent months attacking each other in TV ads.

The coronavirus kept McConnell and McGrath from facing off in August at the Fancy Farm picnic, which traditionally kicks off fall campaigning in Kentucky. McConnell later appeared at a forum hosted by Kentucky Farm Bureau, but McGrath skipped the event.
McConnell is seeking a seventh term in the November election.