Which Democrat takes on Mitch McConnell in November’s Senate race is a decision that will be made by Kentucky Democrats next Tuesday. People not only in Kentucky, but all over the country, have passionate beliefs about who that Democrat should be.

I’m convinced that Mike Broihier is the best person for the job. I’ll tell you why…

The Schumer-led Democratic establishment chose Amy McGrath as their favorite in large part because she’s a Marine. A military background is not only admirable but particularly appealing in a state like Kentucky, but it will not be enough to guarantee a win. McGrath was also chosen because she’s perfect embodiment of the corporatist Democratic ideal — their notion, proven wrong already so many times, that the best way to beat a Republican is with a Republican-lite.

Despite raising over $40M since launching her campaign, McGrath’s money is not translating into on-the-ground support in Kentucky. Over 99% of her donations come from out of state, making her the Michael Bloomberg of this primary race: she has lots of money, yet little enthusiasm from voters.

More crucial to this election is McGrath’s inability to connect to rural voters, as was evident in her previous congressional loss. If you cannot win the rural counties of KY-06, you cannot win a statewide race in Kentucky. Winning rural Kentucky is the single most important strategic issue in this campaign.

One of the biggest mistakes made by the Democratic party over the last forty years has been its abandonment of rural America. What has been perceived as the smug, patronizing attitude of elite Democrats toward people in the country has been among other things a huge strategic error.

Kentuckians are fiercely independent — and while they’re open to something other than McConnell, they have a natural distrust of machine-connected politicians and prefer the devil they know. A Democratic version of more-of-the-same is not the antidote to the Republican version of more-of-the-same. Whether Democrats or Republicans, voters in states like Kentucky are looking for something new: a new direction for themselves, and a new direction for our country. The best chance to beat McConnell is with a progressive candidate unaligned with party politics.

Progressives in Kentucky have an embarrassment of riches to choose from in this race, and two progressive candidates stand for issues most dear to our hearts. With two good progressive candidates — both of whom have great political potential — the question isn’t which one is “better.” They’re both great. The question is which one stands the best chance of beating Mitch.

Mike, like McGrath, is a Marine Lt. Colonel as well. But he is something else as well that matters hugely in Kentucky. Mike is a farmer.

No matter who the Democratic candidate is, they’re going to carry massive turnout from Lexington and Louisville. But where Democrats are vulnerable — where McConnell beats us every time — is in the more populated rural areas of Kentucky.

Mike has been campaigning for progressive causes in rural Kentucky for over a decade. He was the editor of a small town rural newspaper with a religious, conservative readership. He is exceptionally good at communicating progressive ideas to a rural audience. His shared experiences with farmers, teachers, and veterans give him an opening with a rural audience that no other candidate in the race comes close to.

He knows from personal experience how progressive policies can help farmers, teachers, veterans, and folks in his own rural community. He has exceptional policy knowledge, demonstrated by his detailed plans. And without appealing to those demographics, we cannot beat Mitch McConnell.

Kentucky is an older, rural state, and votes in Lexington and Louisville alone will not beat McConnell. Broihier brings the most critical factor to the race against Mitch: the ear of rural Kentucky.

Broihier has won the endorsement of most of the Indivisible chapters in the state, leaders of the National Organization for Women in Kentucky, the Association for Black Veterans, and the Kentucky Democratic Veterans Council. You cannot win a primary or general election in Kentucky without these key groups. Democratic Primary voters who attended the March 5th Forum were polled, and 88% of them indicated that if the election were that night, they would have voted for Mike.

This isn’t an election between good people and bad people. It’s about three good people, all of whom deserve important roles in politics going forward. Yet only one presents the Democrats with a serious chance of beating McConnell in a rural state like Kentucky.

Mike Broihier is the candidate who can do that. Let’s give him the chance.

Activist, author, spiritual lecturer, founder of LA’s Project Angel Food, author of A Politics of Love and A Return to Love