Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Homepage

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
Local Sports
Obituaries
Lifestyles
Opinion
Columns
College Basketball
CNHI News Service Originals
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Newspaper National Network
SEC Zone