They Told Her She Couldn't Be A Combat Pilot. Now She's Fighting For A Seat In Congress.

Amy McGrath made history as a female pilot, and now she's trying to win a congressional race.

When Amy McGrath was 13 years old, her congressman told her that she couldn't fly in combat.

But the Kentucky native knew what she wanted — and she decided to go get it. She wrote to every member of the House Armed Services Committee, asking them to change the law that prevented women from going to combat, but most replied to say she couldn't fulfill her dream.

By the time she was in the Naval Academy, the law changed. Not long after, she became the first Marine pilot to fly an F-18 fighter jet in combat. She ended up serving in both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. And on Tuesday, in a video that is quickly going viral online, Lt. Col. Amy McGrath announced her candidacy for Congress in the Sixth Congressional District of Kentucky.

In McGrath's video announcing her candidacy, she tells the story of her quest to become a pilot, and includes a note that Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — one of Kentucky's two senators — never answered her letters. McGrath will have an uphill battle to win the race as a Democrat, but her powerful introduction video is already propelling her into a national conversation. 

McGrath doesn't just boast an impressive military resume in her candidacy video, she also speaks to female empowerment and calls out Kentucky congressmen for voting to repeal Obamacare, which insures 200,000 people from Kentucky. McGrath will be running against Republican Andy Barr, should she win her party's primary in 2018.

"He is Mitch McConnell's hand picked congressmen who said he would enthusiastically to take health care away from a quarter million Kentuckians," she says in her video. 


McGrath's campaign didn't respond to a request for an interview, but they are certainly entering the race with a splash. Her campaign announcement comes less than a month after returning from 20 years of military service

"The public deserves leaders who are grounded in integrity and brave enough to tell them the truth, instead of misleading them into thinking that quick fixes are right around the corner," McGrath says on her website. "We must have members of Congress willing to stand up to partisanship, divisiveness and duplicity, and meet our challenges head on, always putting country before politics."


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