Reporter Brad Stacy had an intriguing story last week about Rocky Adkins considering a political run against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
For the record, we want Rocky to run. We encourage Rocky to run. We think he represents Eastern Kentucky -- and the Commonwealth -- with great dignity.
Adkins, as every Eastern Kentuckian with a pulse knows, made a very strong bid for the Democratic nominee for governor. He came up just short. It was a great bid but he could not overcome the Democratic base support for Andy Beashear in the Louisville area.
Now, Adkins is considering running for an office that arguably could allow him to have a lot more influence in the form of U.S. Senator.
“I’m getting a lot of encouragement across the state,” Adkins said before attending the 56th annual Kentucky Farm Bureau Country Ham Breakfast at the State Fair. “Folks are contacting me to say, ‘I wasn’t for you in the primary but you are a person that could be very competitive against Mitch McConnell and you’re a person that could run well statewide, especially in rural areas.’”
Adkins specifically mentioned Louisville, which is important because although he dominated Eastern Kentucky counties he did poorly in Jefferson County, winning just 10 percent of the vote.
Adkins, of Sandy Hook, finished in second place last May in the Democratic primary election for governor. He has been a member of the state House since 1987.
Since then, he campaigned with Beshear and backed a Democratic pension plan that failed in a special legislative session.
Adkins said his decision will not depend on which other candidates might enter the race.
Already, Democrat Retired Lt. Col. Amy McGrath, who lost a bid for U.S. Congress last year to GOP incumbent Andy Barr, has entered the race and Kentucky Sports Radio co-founder Matt Jones is expected to announce in coming weeks if he will run.
Adkins dismissed concerns that waiting until November to announce a bid would hurt him in fundraising against McGrath, saying that his fundraising would be competitive if he chose to take on McConnell.
Adkins said “fundraising is always a concern”, but noted he’s always shown that he can raise campaign funds.
He said he considered Jones a “good friend” whom he respects, declining to say whether he wants him to get into the race.
Adkins added that a Beshear victory in November over Republican incumbent Matt Bevin certainly would help Democrats capture the U.S. Senate seat and regain control of the state House next year. We think it is wise to wait until November -- if Beshear were to lose it would be a very telling indicator of just how strong the Republican hold on Kentucky is.
Rocky Adkins is a good person. All you have to do to realize his contributions to our region is to head on over to the campus at Morehead State. He has done great things for this area. It would be an understatement to say he would make a good, noble U.S. senator if the voters decided this is the person they want in the office.