U.S. Senate

Sellus Wilder campaign

When they’re running for statewide office, Kentucky Democrats and Republicans usually have something in common: They embrace the state’s coal culture and attack federal regulations of the signature industry.

But Sellus Wilder, a Democrat running a longshot campaign for U.S. Senate this year, wants his party to stop pandering.

“We never have honest conversations on the state of the coal industry,” Wilder said. “Environmental regulation has contributed to the decline of the coal industry, but it’s hardly the most important factor.”

Wilder is running in the crowded seven-person field for the Democratic Senate nomination. The winner will face Sen. Rand Paul in November.

The man to beat in the primary is Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, who, according to his campaign, raised $1.75 million in the first quarter of this year — $1 million of which he loaned to the cause.

Kentucky Republican Senator Mitch McConnell has reached into the upper echelons of the Tea Party movement for a campaign manager to head his bid for re-election in 2014.

One of Kentucky’s two Democratic Congressmen believes his party has a good shot at unseating U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell in 2014. So far, many of the state’s top Democrats have announced plans to avoid challenging the Senate Minority Leader. That includes Attorney General Jack Conway, who ran for Senate against Rand Paul in 2010, former state Auditor Crit Luallen and current Auditor Adam Edelen.

A recent controversy over a Missouri Senate candidate’s comments on rape has not diminished U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell’s outlook for November. McConnell is hoping to become majority leader next year. Depending on who wins the presidency, he needs either three of four GOP Senate victories this fall to do so.

Former Auditor Crit Luallen says she will not challenge Republican U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell in 2014. Luallen has long been considered to be among the best-situated Democrats to unseat McConnell. She served two terms as auditor and many political observers credit her with raising the office's profile during her tenure.