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In his36 years in power, Mitch McConnell has wasted no opportunity to sell out Kentucky’s farmers, teachers and veterans. This year, he’ll be ousted by someone who is all three.

I’m running for U.S. Senate to fight for economic justice for all Kentuckians — not as an experienced politician, but as someone who works Kentucky land, has taught our kids, and is familiar with kitchen-table issues that concern every family here.

In 2005, my wife and I established a 75-acre farm in Lincoln County after I retired from the Marine Corps. Despite the pandemic, you will still find our produce at farmers markets and farm-to-table restaurants in the Lexington area. Winters found me in a classroom as a substitute teacher, and for three years I edited our local paper — reporting on rural life, fiscal court, schools, agriculture, and county government.

Last year, as we saw our nation’s foundational concepts of separation of powers, co-equal branches of government, checks and balances and equality in the eye of the law under attack, my wife and I committed to renewed service and entered the Senate race. The goal: retire Mitch McConnell and restore our democracy.

We can beat Mitch McConnell in November. We are building a campaign around economic justice and jobs through infrastructure investments. As your senator, I’ll work to help make post-secondary education affordable, encourage public service, increase childcare options, and address the racial wealth gap. I’ll fight for gender and sexual orientation equality, collective bargaining, and vote for a Universal Basic Income.

Coal is not just a Kentucky issue, so I’ll work with contiguous states to support the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund and the American Miners Pension Act. McConnell won’t get this done, but I’ll commit to work with other Senators to do it.

We know the importance of clean air and water, whether you’re a farmer or an outdoorsman. That’s why a comprehensive Green New Deal is important to our environment, our economy, and our wildlife in and around Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake.

During these troubled times, we’ve relearned the risk of linking healthcare to employment. You can count on my support for Medicare for All while building a true single-payer healthcare system, regulation of prescription drug prices, and to expand Medicaid and rural healthcare. Veterans who have settled around Fort Campbell can count on my solidarity, women can expect me to protect their right to choose, and working folks will know that I’ll vote to support their right to organize and stop corporate welfare.

A public survey favored our campaign by eight- and tenfold among the other candidates after our first in-person candidate forum in Newport on March 5. Then, quarantines changed campaigns, but they didn’t stop us.

We have continued our fight to defeat McConnell: The Greater Hardin County Women’s Network held a candidate forum March 16, followed two days later by one hosted by the Kentucky chapter of the National Organization for Women. What is important to note is that I was the only candidate to participate in either of these phone-in events.

Our hard work resulted in the endorsement by the Pennyroyal Indivisible group on April 20, followed by that of the statewide chapter. In the words of Co-Chair Sharon Fleck, “Mike’s policies reflect the values and interests of Indivisible Kentucky as well as those of the majority of Kentuckians.”

We were also the first campaign to RSVP “yes” to the June 1 debate on KET without hesitation. Meanwhile, we’re taking your questions nightly on Facebook Live — tune in at 7 p.m. and submit your own.

We’re not afraid of voters, and not afraid to take a stand on issues. With my resume and strong platform, you can count on me to beat Mitch McConnell, and to work on behalf of all citizens of the Commonwealth.

Make sure you have a plan to vote on June 23. Every vote matters.

Mike Broihier is running for the Democratic nomination to the U.S. Senate in Kentucky. He is a retired Marine Corps Lt. Col., and a former teacher and journalist. He and his wife Lynn grow asparagus in Lincoln County.

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