Morgan McGarvey, Stuart Ray debate in Congress race for open 3rd District

Democratic congressional candidate Morgan McGarvey warned Monday night that the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol remains an ongoing threat to American democracy, while Republican rival Stuart Ray pointed to concerns about an “out-of-control” Russia.

The candidates competing in Kentucky’s 3rd Congressional District also wrangled over abortion and gun policies and how to contain inflation during a debate on Kentucky Educational Television.

Ray is a businessman and McGarvey is best known as the top-ranking Democrat in the GOP-led Kentucky Senate. The Louisville-area 3rd District is the state’s only congressional seat now held by Democrats.

Near the end their half-hour joint appearance, coming about four weeks before Election Day, they were asked what they consider to be the greatest threat to American democracy.

McGarvey pointed to the attack on the capitol, which he linked to former President Donald Trump.

“I think the actions of Donald Trump culminating on Jan. 6 with a terrorist insurrection of our nation’s capitol to overthrow a validly held election is a threat to democracy that continues today,” he said.

McGarvey pointed to Trump’s continued support within the Republican Party.

“We have to have people in Washington who are willing to stand up for democracy,” McGarvey said.

Ray, who avoided mentioning Trump throughout the debate, instead pointed to national security threats posed by adversaries overseas.

“One of the most serious votes we could make would be in the case of national security,” Ray said. “And certainly we’re seeing problems all over this world with an out-of-control Russia and their invasion in Ukraine. And a watchful eye in China monitoring what’s going on there and considering what their options are in Taiwan.”

The winner in the Louisville-area district will succeed Democratic U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, who has wielded considerable influence as chairman of the House Budget Committee. Yarmuth played a key role in advancing President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 relief legislation. Yarmuth announced a year ago that he wouldn’t seek another term and endorsed McGarvey ahead of the spring primary.

Louisville — the state’s largest city — remains a Democratic stronghold while most of Kentucky is solidly Republican.


Republished with permission from the Associated Press.

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