Kentucky senate candidates Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes square off at Owensboro's Red, White & Blue political picnic Tuesday night.
One of the nation’s most closely watched political horse races played out in Owensboro Tuesday. Kentucky’s U.S. Senate nominees met at the Red, White, and Blue Picnic on the lawn of the Daviess County Courthouse.
"Our first speaker, please give a warm Daviess County round of applause for challenger and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes," announced emcee Kirk Kirkpatrick.
Before a crowd of several hundred, Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes utilized a classic campaign strategy: it’s time for change.
"This election comes at a critical time because Mitch McConnell's Washington is not working for Kentucky," suggested Grimes.
Wearing a red dress with cowboy boots, Grimes spoke forcefully as she painted McConnell as the embodiment of all that is wrong in Washington.
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has endorsed Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes in the Kentucky Senate race. Albright served as Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton.
Meantime, Republican Mitch McConnell is calling on 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney to give his campaign a boost. The Herald-Leader reports Romney will appear at a McConnell fundraiser October 2nd in Lexington.
The former Massachusetts governor won Kentucky in 2012, picking up 60 percent of the vote.
Kentucky Senate candidates Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes will debate October 13th on KET, but they won’t be debating this September at Centre College. The Danville-based school announced Monday it is calling off attempts to try and host a Senate debate this year.
“My disappointment runs deep for the citizens of Kentucky, who deserve to make an informed decision on election day,” said Centre College President John A. Roush in a written statement. “We had every indication early on that agreement could be reached, but as time wore on, compromise on the part of both campaigns simply didn’t occur.”
Centre extended invitations to both camps in July, but said Monday it couldn’t get the two sides to commit to the proposed Sept. 3 debate. Centre hosted vice presidential debates in 2000 and 2012.
Grimes and McConnell will appear together Tuesday at the Red White & Blue Picnic in Owensboro, but it’s not a traditional debate format.
Update: 5:43 p.m. The Democratic Party has filed a complaint with the Senate ethics committee.
Democrats claim that soon after Mitch McConnell had breakfast with a top airline executive in the Senate Dining Room, the executive contributed to McConnell's campaign.
McConnell campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore says the Democratic complaint is a frivolous attempt to divert attention from Grimes' problems.
The Republican Party of Kentucky has submitted a complaint to the Federal Election Commission alleging Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes accepted prohibited campaign donations from her father's company.
The complaint was hand delivered to the FEC Friday morning. It alleges Signature Special Event Services, owned by Grimes' father Jerry Lundergan, purchased a touring bus and then leased it to Grimes campaign at below market rates. Federal law bars companies from giving gifts to campaigns.
A spokeswoman for the Grimes campaign called the complaint a political stunt and said their compliance experts have done their due diligence and stand by the rental agreement the campaign made.
The FEC dismissed a similar complaint in 2010 involving a campaign bus rented to Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sue Lowden by a campaign donor.
Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes denies accusations that her campaign may have violated federal campaign finance laws.
When asked by reporters at the Kentucky Farm Bureau’s ham breakfast in Louisville Thursday, Grimes downplayed a Politico report suggesting her father, Kentucky Democratic party power broker Jerry Lundergan, used his catering company to purchase his daughter’s campaign bus then rented it to her for far less than market value.
"These are baseless, unfounded, bullying accusations from the McConnell campaign, just an attempt to try to divert attention away from serious questions that Kentuckians have about Mitch McConnell's family profiting off the loss of coal jobs," said Grimes.
The McConnell campaign did not address Grimes’ accusation in a statement to Kentucky Public Radio, saying instead that her campaign is suffering from “potentially very significant legal problems.”
Following the announcement that Kentucky's two leading U.S. Senate candidates will appear on Kentucky Educational Television, Centre College's president is reaching out to both camps.
Centre College proposed hosting a debate September 3 between incumbent Republican Senator Mitch McConnell and Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.
In a letter posted Wednesday on the Danville college's website, President John Roush says Centre is awaiting a response. He says time is ticking but he remains optimistic both candidates will accept.
"It's really about the citizens of the Commonwealth," the letter read. "This is no longer for me about my interests or even Centre College's interests. The citizens of this state deserve the right to hear these candidates and I'm hoping they'll figure that out."
Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 8:40 pm
Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell and Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes traded familiar barbs Wednesday while discussing agricultural issues at the Kentucky Farm Bureau headquarters in Louisville.
The 90-minute forum offered voters one of the few opportunities to contrast the two candidates in person, and covered a wide range of topics from the farm bill, immigration reform, and Affordable Care Act.
Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 2:15 pm
This week’s installment of Senate Tracker focuses on Kentucky, where Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is trying to unseat longtime Senator Mitch McConnell.
Democrats see the 35-year-old secretary of state of Kentucky as their greatest hope in years to grab the seat, but McConnell is pitting himself as the change candidate, arguing that she would continue the policies of President Obama.
Kevin Willis of WKU Public Radio in Bowling Green, Kentucky, joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the race.
Kentucky's Democratic U.S. Senate candidate is denying allegations that she received a sweetheart deal on the use of her campaign bus. The response came after POLITICO reported Tuesday that a company owned by Grimes’ father purchased the bus and appeared to be renting it to her campaign at a discounted rate.
Under fire from Republicans for reportedly getting a special deal for her campaign bus, Alison Lundergan Grimes on Tuesday asserted that the payments made for the 45-foot-long vehicle are within market rates. The response came after POLITICO reported Tuesday that a company owned by Grimes’ father purchased the bus and appeared to be renting it...
Senator Mitch McConnell has accepted an invitation to debate Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes on KET in October.
KET announced Monday that the incumbent Republican said he would appear alongside the Democratic Secretary of State October 13 on the program Kentucky Tonight.
Senior Director of Communications for KET Tim Bischoff told WKU Public Radio that Libertarian candidate David Patterson, who qualified for the November ballot last week, would not be invited to the KET debate.
Bischoff said candidates were chosen for the event based on specific criteria. According to a document Bischoff sent to WKU Public Radio, those criteria are: