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2018 Kentucky primaries: results for a key House race

Amy McGrath and Jim Gray are squaring off in Kentucky’s Sixth District.

Zac Freeland/Vox

A lone Congressional race in Kentucky has garnered lots of national attention this cycle: the Democratic primary for the Sixth Congressional District. The district sits in central Kentucky, encompassing the city of Lexington and rural counties around it.

Three Democrats are vying for the chance to unseat incumbent Republican Rep. Andy Barr in the fall: Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, retired Marine Lt. Col. Amy McGrath, and state Sen. Reggie Thomas. But throughout the race, the competition has largely come down to Gray and McGrath, a young veteran who recently moved back to her home state of Kentucky to run for Congress.

Gray and McGrath have both fundraised a lot of money for ads; McGrath has raised about $2 million, while Gray has raised about $1.3 million. McGrath, who recently moved back to her home state of Kentucky to run, is running as a fresh political face but has also been dogged by questions of her lack of time living in Kentucky.

She’s painted her main opponent, Gray, as an establishment candidate. Gray entered the race fairly late but has the backing of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, as well as local name recognition in Lexington, which makes up about 40 percent of the district’s voter share.

Gray and McGrath are vying in a district that’s prime Trump country: It’s rated R+9 by the Cook Political Report but has nearly 100,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans, so it has blue roots. The district has flipped before, meaning this primary is all about who can convince Trump voters to cast ballots for Democrats.