Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

March 30, 2013

Top Democrats shying away from McConnell race

FRANKFORT — Now that actress Ashley Judd has ruled out a run for U.S. Senate, Democrats are looking for someone else to take on Republican Mitch McConnell, a merciless campaigner who left his last five challengers politically pummeled.

Several top Democrats have refused, including Gov. Steve Beshear who is widely seen as strongest potential challenger to Kentucky's longest serving U.S. senator in history. Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson has ruled himself out. So have Attorney General Jack Conway and former state Auditor Crit Luallen, as well as a handful of Democratic up-and-comers.

"Everybody is pushing at somebody else," said Democratic strategist Danny Briscoe. "They've all said 'not me, not me, not me, but I know somebody that's good.'"

Of the state's top-elected Democrats, only Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes hasn't ruled out a McConnell challenge, and she's the one that most others are urging to get into the race. So far, Grimes has been coy about her intentions, acknowledging that she's getting lots of encouragement to run but sidestepping questions about whether she will.

Grimes, a rising star within the Kentucky Democratic Party, has continuously traveled the state for speaking engagements since she was elected in 2011, clearly laying the groundwork for higher office. Her spokeswoman, Lynn Sowards Zellen, said Friday that she has nothing to report about Grimes' intentions.

Despite polls showing Beshear is viewed far more favorably than McConnell, the 68-year-old second-term governor has said he doesn't intend to run for any office again. Beshear faced McConnell in 1998 in a bruising campaign that ended in defeat.

"If he wants to kick back and retire, I can't say he's letting us down by not running," Briscoe said. "If he were 60, I might have a different view of that. He would be the strongest candidate the Democrats could run without question, but I also don't second guess his decision to go back to the farm and kick back if that's what he wants to do. He's earned that."

Text Only
Local News
  • News in brief, 07/31/14

    About 450 marijuana plants were confiscated during an eradication effort in Lawrence County on Tuesday.

    July 30, 2014

  • 0731facelift1.JPG Painters finishing up work at ACTC

    When Ashland Community and Technical College students return to campus Aug. 18, they will find fresh paint, clean windows and pressure-washed brickwork on the college’s original building on College Drive.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Night Moves on tap for First Friday

    A chance to enjoy an evening run through the streets of Ashland will be among the things to do during the First Friday ArtWalk and Downtown Live for August from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday.

    July 30, 2014

  • Fairview school district being investigated

    State education investigators were scheduled to arrive in the Fairview school district this morning to interview school officials.

    July 30, 2014

  • Advisory committee on landfill to meet

    Members of the county’s new advisory committee regarding Big Run Landfill enforcement are encouraged to attend the group’s first meeting next week.
    Committee facilitator Mike Clevenger of Cannonsburg said the panel will meet the first Monday of each month, starting next week. For now, all meetings will be at 6:30 p.m. at the Boyd County Community Center.

    July 30, 2014

  • Highway dedicated in Morehead man’s name

    During Wednesday morning’s highway dedication ceremony for late airman Daniel N. Fannin, 30, of Morehead, the man was honored as a Kentucky hero for dedicating his life to the U.S. Air Force until his untimely death last year.

    July 30, 2014

  • Stumbo questions Noah’s Ark incentives, backs off on expanded gambling

    Democratic Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo on Wednesday questioned the constitutionality of state incentives for a Noah’s Ark tourist attraction in Grant County.

    July 30, 2014

  • Night Moves for First Friday

    A chance to enjoy an evening run through the streets of Ashland will be among the things to do during the First Friday ArtWalk and Downtown Live for August in downtown Ashland from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday.

    July 30, 2014

  • ‘Arts in the Vines’ will be in conjunction with U.S. 60 Yard Sale

    Offering a different taste of life in Carter County, the owners of RockSprings Winery are inviting locals and visitors to the U.S. 60 Yard Sale to spend some time in their vineyards during the first “Arts in the Vines” from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday.

    July 30, 2014

  • Grimes zeroes in on women’s issues with latest ad

    Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is out with a third television ad posing questions from Grimes’ supporters to Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.

    July 30, 2014