WKU Public Radio News Staff
Wed August 22, 2012
Conway and Edelen: Not Interested in Taking on McConnell in 2014
Two of Kentucky's highest profile Democrats say they are not interested in taking on U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell in 2014. Attorney General Jack Conway, who ran for Senate in 2010 against Republican Rand Paul, tells Kentucky Public Radio he isn't interested in running for the chamber again.
“I cannot forsee a scenario where I would run for the Senate in 2014, because I stated on several occasions when I ran for re-election as attorney general that I would finish out that term as attorney general,” he says.
State Auditor Adam Edelen was also rumored to be considering a Senate bid, but he's reluctant.
“I think it’s highly unlikely that I’m going to be in a race in 2014, but you know, we plan and God laughs. So you never want to rule anything out,” he says.
Edelen adds that he's too focused on his job as auditor to consider a run, but he says he has been asked to consider it.
Even though McConnell's re-election is two years away and no opponent is in sight, the Republican is amassing a sizeable campaign war chest. Such a financial advantage could force a challenger to enter the race soon to try and catch up. That candidate would also have to compete with money from Republican super PACs such as American Crossroads.
But despite the challenges, Conway believes Democrats will find a credible candidate to challenge McConnell.
"Well I think we've got a very deep bench in the Democratic Party right now," he says. "We've got a lot of credible and capable statewide candidates for statewide races whether they be an AG race, a governor's race, a Senate race. So the Democrats have a very deep and talented bench right now. And I know some people are going to look at it, I would encourage them to look at it."
Conway also says he believes McConnell could face a serious primary challenge from the right, as longtime Indiana Senator Dick Lugar did this year. Such a challenge could weaken the Senator in the general election.
One Democrat with unclear plans for 2014 is Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. In an interview with WPFL's Phillip Bailey, Grimes repeatedly dodged the question of whether she's interested in the race, saying she's focusing on her job right now. But she also explained why she would be the best to run and bragged about winning more votes than any other Democratic candidate in last year's statewide elections.