2014 Election

Politics
10:32 am
Wed July 24, 2013

Bevin Enters Kentucky Senate Race, Blasts McConnell

Political newcomer Matt Bevin has declared the time has come for Kentucky voters to oust Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell.

Bevin criticized McConnell at a Frankfort press conference Wednesday for being a part of "the politics of failure" for nearly three decades. And Bevin offered himself as the alternative, describing himself as a man of the people, having grown up in a farmhouse with wood stoves for heat, a garden for vegetables, and land that provided assorted animals for meat, milk and eggs.

The Louisville investment adviser charged that McConnell "has lost touch with our state, its people and our values."

Meanwhile, the McConnell campaign released a new TV ad charging that Bevin accepted a $200,000 taxpayer bailout for companies he owns in Connecticut. The ad calls him "Bailout Bevin."

Politics
8:44 am
Wed July 24, 2013

For McConnell, Prospect of Primary Challenge Leads to Tea Party Outreach

Kentucky’s senior U.S. Senator is trying to reach out to Tea Party groups as he seeks another six-year term in Washington.

Mitch McConnell needs to shore up support on the Republican right in order to fend off a primary challenge next year. Sen. McConnell knew he would have a challenge from Democrats in 2014. What he was hoping to avoid was a primary challenge from a fellow Republican.

But that’s exactly what he has now, following Louisville investment advisor Matt Bevin’s entrance into the race. Bevin is officially announcing Wednesday that he will seek the GOP Senate nomination, creating a primary fight for McConnell. 

McConnell isn't taking the news lying down.

Politico reports McConnell played host to the Tea Party caucus Tuesday in Washington, at a celebration honoring the birthday of former Senator Bob Dole. McConnell has had a strained relationship with the Tea Party, at first largely ignoring the movement, and then trying to mend fences when the Tea Party showed it had become a major powerbroker within the GOP.

Read more
Politics
10:28 am
Tue July 23, 2013

McConnell to Face Challenge from Right in 2014 Senate Primary

In addition to fighting off Democratic challengers, Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell will also have to to defeat at least one fellow Republican next year.

An aide to Louisville businessman and Tea Party activist Matt Bevin distributed a news advisory Tuesday announcing stops on a statewide tour announcing his candidacy for Senate.

Bevin's entry into the race could force a shift in the McConnell campaign, which had been concentrating entirely on Democratic opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky's 34-year-old Secretary of State.

The move by Bevin to challenge McConnell reflects a splintering of the tea party movement in Kentucky. Many activists, including Kentucky's junior U.S. Senator, Rand Paul of Bowling Green, have already pledged their support to McConnell's 2014 re-election efforts.

Not All Tea Party Groups Think Alike Re: McConnell in '14

McConnell’s re-election effort is highlighting divisions between some Kentucky tea party organizations, and national tea party groups backing the U.S. Senate Minority Leader.

Read more
Politics
4:35 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Grimes Says She Disagrees with President Obama on Coal, Health Care Act

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is distancing herself from President Barack Obama on the issues of coal and health care.

Grimes, who is seeking her party's nomination to challenge Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in next year's election, told reporters Thursday that she disagrees with Obama's philosophy on coal. Griimes said she would work to protect coal jobs if elected.

Grimes also said there were many problems with the federal health care overhaul championed by the president. But she called efforts to repeal the health care law a waste of taxpayer money.

Grimes spoke to reporters in Louisville after giving a speech to a large gathering of county leaders from across Kentucky. She announced her candidacy earlier this month.

Politics
8:02 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Pro-McConnell Super PAC Set to Target Grimes with Ad Buy

A Super PAC supporting Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell is about to go on the air with TV ads targeting Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes.

The group Kentuckians for Strong Leadership has purchased $270,000 in ads that are set to debut Friday in several markets, including Bowling Green, Louisville, and Evansville.

Politico reports that a source says the ads will be aimed at defining Grimes in negative terms, as the Secretary of State tries to get her Senate campaign up and running. McConnell is considered one of the top targets for Democrats during next year’s election cycle.

Grimes is the highest-profile Democrat to announce a challenge to McConnell next year, but her campaign has gotten off to a rocky start. Her July 1 announcement declaring her Senate candidacy was largely panned by analysts as disorganized and underwhelming, and since joining the race Grimes has been largely unseen in public.

She announced Wednesday that her Senate campaign would have an official launch July 30.

Politics
1:19 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

McConnell and Grimes to Both Speak at Fancy Farm Picnic

The Fancy Farm picnic will be the backdrop for an early face-off between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Both campaigns said Tuesday their candidates will attend the Aug. 3 event in western Kentucky.

McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton said the Republican senator wants to hear Grimes' views on health care, coal and gun rights.

Grimes political adviser Jonathan Hurst referred to McConnell as "Sen. Gridlock" and said the campaign looks forward to hearing the senator defend to his long record in Washington.

McConnell is seeking election to a sixth Senate term next year. Grimes is in her first term as Kentucky's secretary of state.

Read more
Politics
11:42 am
Thu July 11, 2013

McConnell Adds More than $2 Million to Campaign

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has banked another $2.26 million since April, pushing his overall fundraising total to more than $15 million for the election cycle.

Campaign manager Jesse Benton said those totals, which will be reported to the Federal Election Commission on Friday, put McConnell "well ahead" of the fundraising pace of his 2008 re-election bid when he spent some $20 million.

Benton said the FEC report will show McConnell still has $9.6 million on hand.

McConnell is expected to face a strong challenge from Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky's 34-year-old secretary of state who announced her candidacy last week.

Grimes, a lawyer from a well-connected Kentucky family, launched her bid with tough words for the 71-year-old McConnell, declaring he has lost touch with Kentucky voters.

Politics
10:35 am
Tue July 9, 2013

McConnell, Republicans Beat Grimes to the Punch Online

Kentucky Secretary of State and U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes

Kentucky Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is losing the online war in the effort to unseat Republican Mitch McConnell.

The first two websites that display following a Google search for the term “Alison Lundergan Grimes for Senate” Tuesday were websites set up by groups aiming to defeat her next year.

The groups behind the two sites paid Google advertising revenue in order to have those websites appear at the top of page, something that is a common practice.

The first return is a website that looks like an official site for Grimes, but is operated by the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Featuring a picture of Grimes next to a picture of President Obama, the site declares the 34-year-old Secretary of State is “not ready” for the U.S. Senate, and contains links to media reports critical of last week’s event in Frankfort where Grimes announced she was entering the Senate race.

A “donate” button at the site links to a page where contributions can be made to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

The second website displayed following a Google search for the Grimes Senate campaign is a site run by the McConnell re-election campaign that urges viewers to sign an online petition opposing what it calls President Obama’s “war on coal.”  

Grimes has an official Senate campaign website, but it does not appear until the third page of a Google search.

Politics
2:33 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

The Reviews Are In: Grimes Senate Kick-Off "Underwhelming"

Alison Lundergan Grimes

It's safe to say this isn't the start Alison Lundergan Grimes--or her supporters--had in mind when they envisioned their effort to take out Kentucky's powerful senior U.S. Senator, Mitch McConnell.

Grimes ended months of speculation Monday afternoon when she announced she will seek the Democratic party's nomination for the 2014 Senate race. But in doing so, she raised as many questions as she answered.

One of Kentucky's best political reporters, Ryan Alessi of cn/2's "Pure Politics", says supporters who met with Grimes in Frankfort Monday before she announced her decision described the meeting as "unorthodox,” “unprecedented,” “fascinating” and, at times, “surreal.”

According to Alessi, Grimes seemed to be undecided on whether or not to run during the pre-announcement meeting, and asked those in attendance what they thought she should do. After meeting for nearly an hour, the consensus formed that Grimes should run for Senate.

Read more
Politics
4:42 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Ending Speculation, Grimes Says She Will Run for the Senate Seat Held by Mitch McConnell

Alison Lundergan Grimes

Kentucky Democrats have lined up what they hope will be a formidable candidate to take on powerful Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in next year's campaign.

Ending months of speculation, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced Monday afternoon that she will enter the 2014 U.S. Senate race.

“I’m here today to tell you that I have met with my supporters, we have had a great conversation and determined and decided that we can next make the best move, the best difference in the Commonwealth of Kentucky by running for the U.S. Senate,” she said.

Speaking in Frankfort to a room of supporters and reporters, Grimes said Kentuckians are tired of McConnell and what she described as his "28 years of obstructionism." She also chided McConnell for voting against increases in the minimum wage and for "losing touch with Kentucky issues, voters, and values."

Referencing the length of time it took for her to formally declare her entrance into the Senate contest, the 34-year-old Maysville native said she wasn't willing to join the race until she had done all of her homework.

“Make no mistake, members of the media, this due diligence was not reluctance, it was not hesitancy,” she said, “but rather a deliberate gathering of all the necessary facts to make a decision that’s not to be taken lightly.”

The announcement started more than 30 minutes later than it was scheduled, and lasted less than five minutes. Grimes answered only a few questions from reporters before leaving the stage.

Grimes has been Secretary of State since 2012. Before that, she was an attorney in Lexington. Grimes comes from a well-connected political family. Her father, Jerry Lundergan, served as chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party.

Read more

Pages