A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Mike Broihier: Democrat candidate for U.S. Senate — for government accountability, economic justice

Mitch McConnell has been the chief enabler of the President’s reluctance to act during this pandemic, his unwillingness to take responsibility, and his avoidance of early measures that would have saved thousands of lives and thousands more jobs.

I’m running for U.S. Senate to fight for government accountability and economic justice from Covington to Somerset, from Pikeville to Paducah, and to send Mitch McConnell home after 35 years in Washington.

Mike Broihier

In 2005, my wife and I bought a 75-acre farm in Lincoln County after I retired from the Marine Corps. Even during this campaign, you will still find our produce at farmers’ markets, food co-ops 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, The Interior Journal – reporting on rural life,  schools, agriculture, and county government. We know the kitchen-table issues that concern your families.

Last year, the time came to recommit to service and enter the Senate race. The goal: strip away labels that have divided us and come together – for Kentucky and for America.

We’ll beat Mitch McConnell in November with a campaign for all Kentuckians, built around economic justice and a durable national healthcare system. As your Senator, I’ll work to help make post-secondary education at Northern Kentucky University and other schools affordable. We’ll encourage public service, increase childcare options, and address the racial wealth gap.

Together we’ll fight for gender and sexual orientation equality, collective bargaining, and for an income floor that will dramatically boost Kentucky’s economy. With our infrastructure investments, we’ll strengthen northern Kentucky’s position as a crossroads to the eastern half of America. And, finally, put the Brent Spence Bridge on a federal schedule for maintenance, repair, and replacement without throwing the financial burden on Kentucky workers.

Because coal is not just a Kentucky issue, I’ll work with senators in the eight Appalachian coal-producing states to support the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund and the American Miners Pension Act. McConnell hasn’t, but I’ll commit to work with other Senators to do it. We won’t let Blackjewel Coal Company employees, or any other miners, have their pay stolen again as they did last summer.

This pandemic has made clear to all of us the risk of linking healthcare to employment. It also marks the second time in as many years that Senator McConnell has failed our country and state.

In January 2019, McConnell said, in his fake, aw-shucks manner, that “there’s no education in the second kick of the mule” when commenting on his unwillingness to enforce good government by failing to bring a widely accepted budget bill to the floor for a Senate vote. That negligence forced Northern Kentucky air traffic controllers and TSA agents to work more than a month without pay, resulting in many sleeping in their cars because they couldn’t afford gas to get to and from work.

And just last Thursday, McConnell admitted that he was clueless about President Obama’s pandemic playbook left during the 2017 transition that Trump had denied existed for weeks — another example of the McConnell’s negligence and dereliction of duty as the Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate.

As the pandemic and business conditions have worsened, Delta Airlines revealed that the carrier “will be overstaffed by 7,000 pilots, more than half of its current number of pilots, as soon as this fall.” Delta “also said it will close its Cincinnati pilot base and permanently ground 18 Boeing 777 jets, which will force the company to take a charge of between $1.4 billion and $1.7 billion in the second quarter,” according to internal documents made available to CNN last week.

I’ll be clear: neither Trump nor McConnell caused the virus — but their inaction, negligence and flippant attitudes have prolonged and spread the physical and economic effects of the disease.

Mike Broihier

As your U.S. Senator, I promise to be proactive and accountable. Veterans can expect me to look out for their interests, women can count on me to help protect their right to choose, and working folks can rely on me to stand against corporate welfare.

You can count on our support for Medicare For All while building a true single-payer healthcare system, and for regulated prescription drug prices. This will cut monthly costs for you, for your children, and your parents, and will bolster us against potential future crises. Likewise, my support for Universal Basic Income will mitigate these and other crises in the future – and earned the most recent endorsement of Andrew Yang and Humanity Forward.

On March 5, Northern Kentucky Indivisible hosted the first Democratic candidate forum in Newport, perhaps with some of you in attendance. Post-debate polling favored my candidacy by eight- and ten-fold against the other candidates. When given a chance to see candidates side-by-side, the voters’ choice is clear.

Quarantine has stopped other campaigns cold, but not mine; 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. We were also the first campaign to RSVP “yes” to the June 1 debate on KET without hesitation. And I take questions from the public nightly on Facebook Live – tune in at 7 p.m. nightly and submit your own.

I am not afraid of voters, and not afraid to take a stand on issues.

That’s why we earned the endorsement of Indivisible Northern Kentucky, followed a week later by 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.”

With a resume that reflects many Kentucky voters and a strong platform, you can count on me to beat Mitch McConnell and to work on behalf of all citizens of the Commonwealth.

I ask for your vote on June 23, by mail or in person.   

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.

The NKyTribune invites all candidates in contested primary races to submit a commentary expressing why they should be elected. Limit to about 1,000 words. Include a short bio and a photo. Submit to news@nkytrib.com. Please submit by June 18.

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  1. Richard says:

    You mention early measures that would have saved countless lives during the pandemic. What are those measures? You also mention many new programs but fail to mention how they will be funded. Sorry, you sound like a politician who just wants to get elected, by promising the world to people.

  2. Gunner says:

    I’d like to see two Marine Officers making their campaign points respecting each other, and clearly showing differences without name calling and saying embarrassing comments about the other one. Damn it, you are both true American Patriots one no better than the other. You might have opposing views, and if so highlight them, but nothing supersedes being United States Marine Corps Officers, nothing!

  3. Melissa says:

    I have been so impressed with Mike’s broad understanding of the issues facing Kentucky, common sense plans to fix them, and his obvious patriotism and love for the people of this state. You have my vote.

  4. Marv Dunn says:

    Mr.Broihier is someone I could vote for but I’m afraid he has set his sights too high by starting his first campaign against the professional politician McConnell. I could vote for Booker also but all the money is behind Amy McGrath. McConnell seems to think so too by running ads against her before she is the primary winner. I wish her good luck in her quest.

  5. Rad says:

    Watch the interviews with all 3 dem candidates and its obvious that Mike is a straight shooter who has answers to every question – he doesn’t beat around the bush or make excuses.
    He can get the rural vote and he can swing traditionally red voters.
    You don’t win a red state with blue votes – you must flip red.
    That’s why only #MikeBeatsMitch

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