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Democrat Amy McGrath changes campaign managers in bid to upset Sen. Mitch McConnell

Posted at 12:47 PM, Aug 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-15 12:47:09-04

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Democrat Amy McGrath switched campaign managers Friday in a shakeup heading into the stretch run of her bid to unseat Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky.

McGrath has raised prolific amounts of campaign cash, fueled by Democrats who made McConnell a prime target for his role as President Donald Trump’s chief congressional ally. But McGrath, a retired Marine combat pilot, struggled to hold off a late charge from progressive candidate Charles Booker in the June Democratic primary.

McGrath’s campaign said it’s bringing on Dan Kanninen as campaign manager to oversee day-to-day operations. Kanninen served as national states director for Mike Bloomberg’s unsuccessful presidential campaign. In that role, Kanninen oversaw a staff of nearly 3,000 across more than 40 states and was involved in organizing, analytics and electoral strategy.

Picking up on McGrath’s main theme, he said Friday that there’s “no more destructive force in Washington than Mitch McConnell,” calling him the “architect of the dysfunction.”

McConnell’s campaign fired its own jab, tweeting that McGrath’s campaign “needed to find someone with better expertise in lighting millions on fire.”

The two campaigns have battered each other with a series of TV ads.

McGrath’s campaign said Kanninen joined the campaign this month. Her previous campaign manager, Mark Nickolas, will oversee paid media efforts as a senior campaign adviser, the campaign said.

McConnell, the nation’s most powerful congressional Republican, is seeking a seventh term.