Mike Broihier isn’t a typical politician, he said. With a background that includes 21 years in the Marine Corps, farming, education and print journalism, he said there’s a statement he’s heard consistently from folks he’s met in Kentucky.
“At least you’re not lying to me,” they say, according to the progressive from Lincoln County. “Now, that’s a pretty low bar when you think about it.”
While the coronavirus threw a wrench in traditional campaign-trail meet-and-greets, Broihier has teamed up with those who were previously with former presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s campaign group to get the word permeating the commonwealth. He puts together a livestream video every night, and his team pushes it to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
“We’ve just changed gears,” he said. “Very easily switched gears, actually, with a bunch of innovative people.”
Broihier is one of 10 Democrats who will vie for the seat held by Republican Mitch McConnell, the six-term Senate Majority Leader. While Amy McGrath has a more established footprint as the June primary approaches, Broihier likes his chances.
Both McGrath and Broihier are retired Marines. McGrath was a fighter pilot who served 20 years and retired as a lieutenant colonel.
Broihier said McGrath has “dramatically changed positions” on some topics, including altering her stance on whether she would have voted to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“I’m running to defeat Mitch McConnell — because the women of Kentucky deserve a Senator who will stand with them no matter what,” Broihier said in a recent tweet.
When Broihier retired from the Marines in 2005, he and his wife bought a farm in Lincoln County. He said they run the largest all-natural asparagus operation in the state. He spent five years working at The Interior Journal, a weekly newspaper in Stanford, as a reporter and editor. The couple decided about a year ago that it was time for him to throw his name in the Senate race.
“I feel like I’m uniquely positioned to fix this problem,” Broihier said. “We looked at the Democrats who’ve run against McConnell before. They were all nice but squishy middle-of-the-road candidates.”
Broihier said his well-rounded background “cuts a pretty wide swath across the country.”
Both McGrath and Broihier have their eye on health care.
“Health care is the No. 1 issue in Kentucky,” McGrath said back in December. “We have the highest cancer rates in the country. We have the highest rates of diabetes … and currently, we have a senator who consistently not only wants to undermine the system we have right now, but he is actually trying to make it worse by continually trying to throw people off health care.”
Broihier is a proponent of Universal Basic Income.
According to mikeforky.com, “I will advocate for a UBI of $2,000 per month for every adult and $1,000 for every child — throughout the duration of the economic crisis caused by COVID-19. Then, after one month of the official end of the recession, that would transition to a monthly payment of $1,200 for every adult and $400 for every child.”
He said health insurance shouldn’t necessarily be tied to jobs.
Broihier also said “we have the opportunity to invest in a large-scale public infrastructure program that puts people to work, fixes and improves crumbling infrastructure and fixes inefficient and unaffordable utilities with innovative and sustainable methods.”
McGrath is calling for federal investment in infrastructure at a scale resembling the building of the interstate highway system starting in the 1950s, according to a December 2019 story in The Daily Independent.
Broihier said he models himself after military leaders.
“All those people have been selfless and willing to make tough decisions,” he said, adding his admiration he’s had for Gov. Andy Beshear as he’s dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Broihier said the last year has been “fantastic because I’ve met incredible people that I would never have met before. As a farmer, you get pulled into the daily routine and can’t really get away. Now that I’m campaigning, you meet interesting people and go to interesting places like Elkhorn City (before the pandemic).”
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