Fmr. Secretary of State Trey Grayson weighs on McGrath chances, House elections and Democratic candidates for governor

06/18/2018 05:10 PM

FLORENCE – Former Secretary of State and Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President Trey Grayson believes that Amy McGrath’s win over Lexington Mayor Jim Gray in the 6th Congressional District Democratic primary was the result of effective campaign ads as well as having the voters embrace her political outsider role.

McGrath will take on Republican incumbent Congressman Andy Barr in November and Grayson believes the race will be one looked at by many around the country for possible early trends.

“It’s the first competitive race which will be decided on election night because it’s all in the eastern time zone,” Grayson said. “By seven or seven thirty, people all across the country are going to be wondering about a blue wave, a red wave, whatever you want to describe it, so people will want to be looking at that race and figure out what kind of clues does it have for the rest of the day.”

Grayson believes that one of McGrath’s’ keys in November will be to continue to
fund raise and get her message to all of the voters in the district.

“To me, it all comes back to that first video, and i don’t mean that in a negative sense,” Grayson said. “She was the one talking to the camera and telling her story in a way that was very compelling. You know, with fewer people reading newspapers and watching TV news, she wouldn’t be able to earn media necessarily, but she created her own with that story, with that video.”

Grayson admits that the biggest surprise on primary night was House Majority Leader Jonathan Shell falling to Rockcastle County High School math teacher R. Travis Brenda in the primary. The big question now is will this be a sign of things to come for incumbents.

“While it’s a Republican beating a Republican, I don’t know how much it means necessarily for a Democrat running against a Republican in the fall, it shows there’s some resonance to the message, but it also shows that you’ve got to look at where the lines are drawn and what kind of turnout that you get because those factors can’t be ignored.”

While Democrats say that their number one goal is to turn the House back to their control this November, Grayson sees that as highly unlikely.

“I do think it will be really, really hard to gain control of the House,” Grayson said. “Can they pick up some seats? Sure, most people, even before this session started, felt like the way the district lines were drawn the way they are, by the Democratic party to favor Democratic candidates, that the 63, 64 number was high.”

Grayson believes that Gov. Matt Bevin will seek reelection in 2019 and feels that up to four heavyweight Democrats will jump into the primary race.

Grayson is also the former director of the Harvard Institute of Politics.


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