• David Wolfe Bender

Sister of PT faculty member aims to shake up Kentucky district (work sample)

The following article was originally published in the October 31, 2018 edition of the Park Tudor Tribune. All Photos credit back to the original author.



Dr. McGrath meets with Vice President Joe Biden, alongside his sister.

On October 12, 2018, PT history and economics teacher Dr. Matthew McGrath drove to Owingsville, Kentucky, where his sister, retired Lt. Col. Amy McGrath, was about to receive an endorsement from former Vice President Joe Biden. Amy McGrath is running in Kentucky’s 6th congressional District.


“I don’t know how she does it,” Dr. McGrath said of his sister. Amy McGrath has a strong military background, starting from a young age. Dr. McGrath, who is two years older than his sister, explained how she had a poster of David Robinson on the door to her room at age 15. Robinson, who was a professional basketball player, first served his country in the Navy. “Amy thought this was the greatest thing ever,” Dr. McGrath said.


This led to a long life of military service for Amy McGrath, including becoming the first woman to fly a combat mission in the United States Marine Corps. Working under the call sign “Krusty,” she flew over 85 combat missions, and accumulated over 2,000 flight hours, according to the United States Naval Academy. After retiring from the armed forces in 2017, she decided to pursue a political career.


That goal will not come easily, as the election in the historically Republican Kentucky 6th District has quickly turned negative. “It’s open season on her,” Dr. McGrath said. “They have 10 to 15 different commercials attacking her with negative ads, which are 100% untrue.” As Amy McGrath has no congressional record to attack, Republican Congressman Andy Barr, and outside spending groups have been attacking her for being closely tied to former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who is not popular in rural areas. But in her primary, “Pelosi...and the [Democratic National Committee] backed the other guy,” Dr. McGrath said. “They did not want her to run.”


Despite the opposition of establishment Democrats, Amy McGrath pushed on and won her primary by nearly 8,000 votes, or 8.2 percent.

Amy McGrath’s problem is that she’s a Democrat running in a conservative district, but Dr. McGrath believes that she can still win this election. “People are responding to her genuineness,” Dr. McGrath said. “I think [the voters are] tired of the negativity. They are tired of the partisanship.”


McGrath and Barr are very close in recent polls, and the district has been getting lots of national attention, featuring high profile visits from President Trump and former US Vice President Joe Biden (pictured with Dr. McGrath and his mother).

© 2020 by David Wolfe Bender.

Photos courtesy of the Freedom Forum Institute.