Retired Lt. Col. Amy McGrath, the first woman in the Marine Corps to fly an F/A-18 fighter jet in a combat mission, said Sen. Mitch McConnell never responded to a letter she wrote him as a child urging for women to fly in combat.

Now, she’s running against him in the 2020 election.

“I was 13 years old and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life,” McGrath said in a video announcement Tuesday, unveiling her campaign to unseat the Republican Majority Leader in Kentucky. “I sat at this table and I wrote a letter to my senator, telling him I wanted to fly fighter jets in combat, and to fight for my country, and that women should be able to do that. He never wrote back.”

McGrath, who graduated from the Naval Academy in 1997, served in the Marine Corps for 20 years and participated in 89 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, she said. After she retired, she moved back to Kentucky.

This isn’t the first time McGrath has run for office. In the 2018 midterm election, she ran against incumbent Rep. Andy Barr, a Kentucky Republican. He was re-elected by 3 percentage points.

During McGrath’s first campaign, she characterized Barr as part of a dysfunctional Washington. She took a similar approach unveiling her Senate campaign, and claimed that “everything that’s wrong in Washington had to start some place” as she cast blame on McConnell.

“I felt like somebody needs to stand up to him,” McGrath said in her recent video.

According to The Associated Press, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., encouraged McGrath to enter the race. Politico first reported on Feb. 12 that Schumer first reached out to McGrath in December 2018, and the two met this January.

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