Black Candidates Tap Protest Energy to Challenge Democrats

Published: June 22, 2020  Updated: June 22, 2020 at 9:09 am EST

Amy McGrath and Eliot Engel live hundreds of miles apart in states with dramatically different politics.

Yet they’re the preferred candidates of the Democratic Party’s Washington establishment as voters in Kentucky and New York decide their congressional primary elections on Tuesday. And both may be in trouble.

On the eve of their elections, Engel, a 16-term House incumbent who represents parts of the Bronx and New York City’s wealthy suburbs, and McGrath, a former military officer and fundraising juggernaut running in her first Kentucky Senate campaign, are facing strong challenges from lower-profile Black candidates. The challengers have tapped into the wounded progressive movement’s desire for transformational change suddenly animated by sweeping civil rights protests across America.

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