Alison Lundergan Grimes

McConnell Adds Nearly $2.3M to Campaign Account

Oct 11, 2013

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has banked nearly $2.3 million since July, pushing his overall fundraising total to $17.7 million for the election cycle.  Campaign manager Jesse Benton said Friday the numbers reflect McConnell's strongest quarter to date for fundraising.

McConnell is facing challenges from Democratic front-runner Alison Lundergan Grimes. He also has a primary opponent, Louisville businessman Matt Bevin. Neither of the two have yet released their fundraising totals.

McConnell's campaign said that he received donations from about 6,000 donors. Benton said the McConnell campaign will report nearly $10 million cash on hand.

McConnell is seeking re-election next year to a sixth term.

Kentucky has received a $2.2 million federal grant to help pay for an electronic system for delivering election ballots to soldiers deployed overseas.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced the grant from the U.S. Department of Defense. Tuesday.

Grimes said the money will help with the cost of an electronic system that could be used in place of U.S. mail to get ballots to military personnel.

Lawmakers approved legislation earlier this year to allow soldiers and civilians living overseas to receive ballots electronically to speed up the process.

The secretary of state's office is in the preliminary stages of developing the system, which is expected to be in place for next year's general election.

Democratic Senatorial candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is taking aim at a Republican strategist’s claims that she is “an empty dress.”

National Republican Senatorial Committee communications director Brad Dayspring also said Grimes is “incapable of articulating her own thoughts.” Members of Grimes’s camp joined liberal organizations in denouncing the comments as sexist.

Politico reports the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee issued a fundraising solicitation Wednesday on the heels of the comments, telling supporters to counter what the group called “misogynistic attacks.”

Republican party officials, meanwhile, brushed off the accusations and pointed to the ongoing sexual harassment investigation surrounding Democratic state representative John Arnold of Union County.

Libertarian Candidate Enters Kentucky Senate Race

Aug 26, 2013

Libertarian David Patterson has announced his intention to run against incumbent Republican Senator Mitch McConnell.

The 42-year old Harrodsburg police officer said in a statement that he's making the bid to unseat McConnell because voters are looking for an alternative.

Ken Moellman, chairman of the Libertarian Party's state executive committee, said he's pleased Patterson wanted to get into the race. Patterson will seek the party's nomination in an internal primary on March 1.

McConnell is seeking a sixth term in office in next year's election. His chief rival is Democratic secretary of state Alison Lundergan Grimes. Republican Matt Bevin is challenging McConnell in next spring's primary.

Republican dreams of a U.S. Senate takeover have been shattered in recent elections by a collection of "unelectable" nominees — the term of art used by political pros to refer to not-ready-for-prime-time candidates whose extreme views doomed their chances with mainstream voters.

There was Delaware's Christine "I'm Not A Witch" O'Donnell, and Nevada's Sharron "Some Latinos Look More Asian To Me" Angle in 2010.

Last year's contests starred Indiana's Richard "Rape Pregnancies Are A Gift From God" Mourdock, and Missouri's Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin.

Kentucky News Network

Up until a few weeks ago many expected Saturday's Fancy Farm picnic in Graves County to be an off year for the annual political event. But, with high profile candidates in the 2014 U.S. Senate race, it seems there are no off years at Fancy Farm.

Kentucky Public Radio's John Null explains in this report.

Democratic Senate front-runner Alison Lundergan Grimes has portrayed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell as being a chief Republican obstructionist as the rivals shared the spotlight at Kentucky's premier political event.

Grimes, Kentucky's 34-year-old Secretary of State, accused McConnell of being a part of the "disease of dysfunction" in Washington, and blocking legislation just to spite the White House.

"If doctors told Senator McConnell he had a kidney stone, he'd refuse to pass it," said Grimes.

McConnell touted his Senate leadership and ignored Grimes, aiming his criticism at President Barack Obama. Both candidates in next year's Senate race spoke at the Fancy Farm picnic on Saturday in western Kentucky.

McConnell told a raucous crowd that Obama's health-care law is a "disaster", and said he will focus his campaign on the damage the President's policies are having in the Bluegrass State.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, up for re-election next year, will share a stage Saturday afternoon with his top challengers at the always raucous church picnic known for spicy barbecue and even spicier speeches.

The event — a holdover from the days before television, when politicians had to seek out crowds to solicit votes — draws thousands of people each year to the tiny western Kentucky community of Fancy Farm and is considered a must-attend for politicians.

It will provide voters the first side-by-side comparison of McConnell and his foes — Republican primary opponent Matt Bevin and Democratic front-runner Alison Lundergan Grimes — in a charged political climate with the candidates taking turns trying to shout their speeches over jeering hecklers.

"From a purely political standpoint, it's a test for candidates," said Greg Higdon, a former state senator who helps with the picnic, now in its 133rd year. "There have been some politicians who have handled it better than others. It's not easy. I know it's tough."

Kentucky's presumed Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate was in Bowling Green Wednesday, her first stop since her official campaign kick-off Tuesday in Lexington that drew more than a thousand party faithful. 

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is on a bus tour through western Kentucky ahead of Saturday's Fancy Farm political picnic.  She told a crowd gathered at the FOP Lodge in Bowling Green that Washington is lacking the compromise seen under former Democratic Senator Wendell Ford.

"Compromise, common ground, it's not something to be ashamed of," said Grimes.  "Indeed it's necessary and I believe vital to preserve and protect the country that each of us equally loves.  I'm in this race because I believe it needs to be that way again."

Grimes' speech was light on specifics concerning policy.  She declined to speak with reporters covering the event.

Secretary of State and U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes will be in Bowling Green Wednesay at noon, as part of what her campaign is calling the "Road to Fancy Farm" bus tour.

Grimes will be at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge on Corvette Drive. Her campaign also has a meet-and-greet scheduled Wednesday at 5 p.m. in Central City.

WKU Public Radio will be at the Warren County event to interview Grimes. We'll have those stories throughout the afternoon during our local newscasts and here at our website.

A Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Kentucky is suing his own party, alleging favoritism of one candidacy over others.

Ed Marksberry claims the Kentucky Democratic Party is unfairly and illegally promoting the campaign of Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, the most well-known and well-funded candidate in the Democratic field so far. 

Marksberry, an Owensboro contractor, filed a lawsuit this week against Kentucky Democratic Party Chairman Daniel Logsdon. Marksberry says in suit that he was shocked by a July 1 email from the state party announcing Grimes’ campaign because the party had refused to make announcements on his behalf.  Marksberry claims he was told that sending such communications would violate the party’s by-laws, which prohibit the party from using its resources to support one candidate over another in a primary election. 

Marksberry tells the Lexington Herald-Leader the state party is favoring the rich over the working class in his party.  Neither the Grimes’ campaign nor the state Democratic party have commented on the lawsuit.  Marksberry could not be reached Tuesday by WKU Public Radio.

Marksberry, who lost a 2010 bid for Congress, says he is considering running for the U.S. Senate as an Independent.  The winner of the Democratic primary next May will face either Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell or Tea Party activist Matt Bevin, the only two candidates so far in the GOP primary election.

Office of Sec. Grimes

Consider it a "take two": Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes Tuesday will officially kick off her U.S. Senate campaign in Lexington.

When Grimes first announced she was joining the race earlier this month, the event was widely described as disorganized and uninspired. The campaign's senior adviser in later days told reporters Grimes would soon have a second "official" announcement of her Senate campaign.

That's taking place Tuesday afternoon in Lexington. Gov. Steve Beshear will be joining Grimes. When Grimes first announced she was running for Senate, Beshear said she hadn't given him any heads up that she had made a decision.

With Beshear's appearance Tuesday, it appears the Grimes camp is hoping to display a unified Democratic front behind the Secretary of State. Last week, longtime U.S. Senator, former Governor, and Owensboro native Wendell Ford endorsed Grimes for Senate.

Grimes has accused U.S Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of being "out of touch" with Kentucky voters and values. And several polls show the Louisville Republican holding dangerously low favorability ratings with Kentucky voters.

Republican County Clerk Files Complaint Against Grimes

Jul 25, 2013

A county clerk in southeastern Kentucky has asked the Executive Branch Ethics Commission to determine the propriety of a fundraising email sent last wek to government email accounts by Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Republican Laurel County Clerk Dean Johnson filed the complaint Thursday, a week after receiving the email from Grimes, a candidate for U.S. Senate.

Johnson is asking the Ethics Commission to determine the legality of the secretary of state sending fundraising emails to county clerks who report to her in in matters pertaining to elections. Johnson said he thinks that Grimes acted unethically by using a government email list to raise money and that she also might have run afoul of state law.

Grimes political adviser Jonathan Hurst had no immediate comment.

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.

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.

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