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Kentucky House candidate Amy McGrath releases ad highlighting fight against corruption

Democratic wave is "toss up" in midterms

Retired Marine Lt. Col. Amy McGrath, who is the Democratic candidate running in Kentucky's 6th Congressional District, released her third television ad Friday for the general election, a spot that portrays her military background as the precursor of her run for office to fight corruption. CBS News rates this race as competitive.

Here's the ad:

Amy McGrath for Congress — "Classroom" by Amy McGrath for Congress on YouTube

In the ad, McGrath, who was the first woman Marine to fly a combat mission in an F-18, is running against incumbent Rep. Andy Barr, R-Kentucky, says that people advised against her running for office.

"People told me I shouldn't," McGrath said in the ad. "That politics was too ugly and corrupt. But I decided that if I was able to risk my life for our country multiple times in combat that I had to have the courage to come home and fight for my country here."

The release of the ad comes days after Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-California, and his wife were indicted for misusing campaign funds for their personal items and weeks after Rep. Chris Collins, R-New York, was indicted on insider trading charges. Hunter and Collins were the first two congressional Republicans to endorse then-candidate Donald Trump for president.

McGrath's ad was also released during the same week a jury found former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort guilty on eight counts of financial fraud and the president's former lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts, including tax evasion and campaign finance violations.

Mark Nickolas, Amy McGrath's campaign manager, said Putnam Partners, a political media consulting firm, shot the ad several weeks ago. Her campaign is spending $120,000 over the next nine days to run the ad.

In the ad, McGrath also laments that the American people have lost their faith in government.

"Not only are we not proud of our political system we are completely disgusted by it," McGrath said.

In a Facebook post Friday morning, McGrath addressed eight attacks ads from her opponent, Republican Andy Barr and from GOP super PACs. In it, she talked about the values the Marine Corps instilled in her and her campaign.

"When I entered this race, I pledged to be a different kind of candidate and eight desperate attack ads aren't going to turn me into what we have come to loathe," McGrath wrote. "I refuse to win at any cost. And I will place my faith in the voters to see through all this trash."

Jodi Whitaker, Barr's campaign communications director, said in statement provided to CBS News that McGrath is "trying to fool Kentucky voters."

"She wants to take away your tax cuts, supports abortion on demand, twice voted for Obama whose policies threw Kentuckians out of work, supports open borders and calls a border wall 'stupid,' and will be another vote for Nancy Pelosi's liberal agenda," Whitaker said in the statement. "That's the real Amy McGrath."

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