Most campaign ads sound exactly the same and thus aren't worth taking up valuable space in your memory. You can only remember so many images of white men standing in a field talking about how much they love America, right? Well, one 2018 campaign ad broke the pattern.
Among all the identical videos, there are usually a few that stick out each election (think Maine congressional candidate Emily Cain addressing body shaming and Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign announcement). Amy McGrath's is already a strong contender for the most memorable this election cycle. McGrath is a Marine Corps veteran running for Congress in Kentucky's Sixth Congressional District. In the May 2018 primary, she'll seek the Democratic nomination to go up against Republican incumbent Andy Barr that November.
Her campaign announcement video, "Told Me," was first released by Politico on Tuesday morning, and immediately caught people's attention.
"Really I just wanted to reach the people here, back in Kentucky," McGrath told Refinery29 of her announcement. "This is who I am."
In the video, McGrath explains that when she was 13, she wrote to her congressmen about her dream of flying fighter jets. Her senator, now-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, never responded according to the video, but one congressman at the time said Congress thought "women ought to be protected and not allowed to serve in combat."
So, she wrote to every member of the House and Senate Armed Services committees asking them to change the law to allow women to fly in combat. "I said they just hadn’t met me yet and I knew I could do it," she says in the video.
The ban on women was dropped in 1993, and McGrath served in the Marines for 20 years, flying 89 combat missions and becoming a lieutenant colonel, the video says.
Now, she's running for Congress because she's tired of today's politicians, especially the current president.
"The morning after the 2016 election, I woke up that morning and I never felt so low," she said. "The only thing I can equate it to is the feeling I had after 9/11. That sinking feeling down deep of, Where is this country going. What just happened?"
After the election, she believed someone needed to try to change the political climate in Washington, so why not her?
"I’m not a career politician, I’m not a millionaire," she told Refinery29, "but I’m someone who knows how to serve, who knows how to lead, and when my country called, I stepped up. And I thought, I have to do that now."
Although Kentucky is a strongly-led red state, she's not afraid to go up against an experienced Republican in 2018 — or the rest of the currently majority-Republican Congress after that.
"This is my new mission – to take on a Congress full of career politicians who treat the people of Kentucky like they’re disposable," McGrath says in the video. "Some are telling me a Democrat can’t win that battle in Kentucky. That we can’t take back our country for my kids and yours."
She added: "We’ll see about that."