McConnell and Grimes square off in debate Monday night

Kentucky Senate debate has healthcare focus

LEXINGTON, KY (FOX19) - Republican Senator Mitch McConnell and Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes will square off in a debate in Lexington Monday night.

Grimes, Kentucky's Secretary of State, is trying to unseat the veteran lawmaker in one of the most watched and hotly-contested races.

Republicans only need six seats to gain control of the Senate, making McConnell the majority leader and keeping three decades of experience.

On the flip side, Grimes would be the first woman elected a US Senator in Kentucky.  She is trying to tell voters that 30 years of one person's policies is too long, and a change needs to be made for the nation and Kentucky.

When it comes to paying for college, Grimes wants to give students the same loan rate as Wall Street banks, offer refinancing options and fully fund Pell Grants.

McConnell recently introduced legislation to make 529 college savings plans more accessible to lower and middle income Kentucky families.

The candidates also have opposite approaches to the issue of minimum wage. Grimes backs an increase, saying all Kentuckians should earn a living wage.  McConnell opposes, calling that increase a job killer.

Millions of dollars also is being spent in Kentucky's Senate Race.  A report from the Courier-Journal estimates $1 million could be spent by both parties by the time this election is through.

According to, McConnell has raised over $23 million and spent $13 million as of June 30th.

Grimes has raised over $11 million and spent $5 million.

Both candidates also have millions of dollars in cash available to them for spending.

To illustrate how closely the nation is paying attention to this race, a recent FOX19 reality check shows for every dollar spent supporting McConnell's campaign, 81 percent comes from outside Kentucky.  For Grimes, it's 72 percent.