Kentucky’s political leaders are offering their remembrances of the late Wendell Ford. As a former governor and U.S. Senator, the Owensboro Democrat served as a mentor to many of the state’s rising political stars.
Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes says the 90-year-old Ford represented what public service was all about, regardless of what side of the aisle you were on.
"He taught me that public service is about the people of this state," explained Grimes. "Each and every decision made, whether at the state or federal level, has consequences that ultimately impact the future of Kentucky."
Grimes says the last time she spoke with Ford was right after the November election. She had just come off a bruising loss in her own bid for U.S. Senate. His words of encouragement were “Keep doing what’s in your heart and you can’t go wrong.”
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway called Ford a dear friend and one of the largest influences on his professional life.
"Wendell Ford was a lion of a public servant for Kentucky and the nation, but he had the heart and kindness of a lamb," said Conway.
Grimes and Conway are both running for statewide office this year. Conway is seeking the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. Grimes has not announced her plans yet, but has said she has been encouraged to run for governor, attorney general, and to seek re-election as Secretary of State.