KY primary shows fight for future of Democratic Party

ABC News’ Mary Bruce reports on the major test between Kentucky establishment and progressive candidates as protests over policing upend the 2020 primaries.
6:00 | 06/23/20

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Transcript for KY primary shows fight for future of Democratic Party
Now to the 20/20 race where the country's ongoing protests over race and policing are up bending some congressional primaries as protesters demand real change from Washington. Primaries today in Kentucky in New York State will be one of the first electoral test of the impact of George excellence chilling in the movement added spark. In Kentucky the democratic primary race to take on senate majority leader Mitch McConnell. It's Hingham a remarkable shift in recent weeks driven in part by those protests ABC's Mary Bruce has that story. In Kentucky the movement for racial justice is shaking up the race to take on the most powerful Republican on Capitol Hill. Giving a late boost of momentum to an underdog democratic state representative Charles Booker. It's good to him. Paducah than its. Neighbor as a fellow good troublemaker and. He's become a fixture at the protest his campaign for the US senate tapping into the energy marching through the streets. Booker even sharing this video of being tear gas. The same held the mayor. This thing to help just weeks ago it seems the Democratic Party had all but decided on former marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath has the best candidate to take on the senate majority leader. Amy McGrath is our candidate she's a strong candidate she's giving McConnell a run for his money she's. Best chance to move on yeah. But aboard brokers campaign bus that 35 year old tells us he's poised to shock the political world. We know that we can do the work in property and incest is it's addressed a racial. And it's short sure inequity. That rob so many people the chance of doing anything more the struggles. And so we're fighting back. Whistle in the country in the world what you accused NATO. Carter. Just a few weeks ago Democrats really thought they had this race planned out. What happened it. Consortium that you can't ignore what is being counted out we use being written out. People talk about Kentucky talk at us or else will we think sells what we believe in. It's never listen to us. National reckoning on races on has roared through this state. Sparked by the fatal shooting of embryonic Taylor by rule of Ville police. And then the killings of George. For Booker this fight is deeply personal. I carry a lot of problems. I Moftec 'cause as part of the last four years. And my cousin TJ was murdered on Easter Sunday when he sixty. Really good as the bra say look. And I it hurts. It hurts right now and I'll use that brain. He says he's lived the struggle most politicians just talk about. Instead we even got it would serve guests so. And yeah that it sold the people can beat that they can support. Me and my candidacy because they enormous fight short. He's surging gaining endorsements from progressive powerhouses like Alexandria no cost seal Cortez Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. I don't make its nose out. I believe deception ultimately lead to seekers. McGrath has the support of top party leaders in Washington including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and democratic leader Chuck Schumer. And she's raised more than forty million dollars to take on Mitch McConnell after narrowly losing her bid for a house seat in two when he eighteen. Being the graph the former marine combat pilot defeated. By the four term incumbent. I've been boots on the ground. For a year now almost a year now talking to my fellow Kentucky is about their frustrations and their concerns. And talking about common sense solutions for the feature so we're. We're excited sit in take this primary on I'm not particularly partisan person I'm somebody that will work with anyone no matter whether they Wear red Jersey or blue Jersey. But in the midst of this movement her critics say she's out of touch. Have you been on the ground employable with the protesters the last three days or in Lexington elsewhere must McGrath I have not and why. Well I didn't with my family in I've had some thinly. Things going on this past weekend your critics say that you struggled to respond to today's growing movement what do you make of that criticism. We'll look. I have been outs listening to my fellow Kentucky n.'s I went to memorial services for. George Floyd embryonic Taylor and Central Park and global and I know that people want. She tackle social injustice in this country the racial injustice who we acquiesced excess. Even surprised by the momentum around mr. Bowker. We're living in a time when and the the yeah a racial injustices being highlighted. And note mr. Booker he ias is like experience. He has Arab voice for these things and and I think that some and important voice. I do believe we need to come together as Democrats to defeat Mitch McConnell. Both candidates are confident Kentucky is ready to make it changed McConnell has been in office for 35 years being elected two weeks I was born. Tyler but before they take on McConnell Kentucky has to get through today's primary. Due to cope in nineteen mystique today has just one polling site in each county regardless of size. That's in 95%. Reduction. Sparking concerns about potential voter suppression in large cities with more minorities. Even LeBron James speaking out tweeting this is systemic racism and depression so angry man. The state is also seeing a record number of people voting by mail counting all those ballots will take time results are not expected for another week. Today dismissed special Hazmat first time ever there when it. Results that may reflect how the country is rising to meet this moment.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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