Alison Lundergan Grimes’ Senate campaign officially kicked off Tuesday in Lexington with an attack on Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell’s for, among other things, encouraging congressional gridlock and refusing to allow votes on the Senate floor.
“Indeed, over 400 times, governor, he has stood in the way and blocked votes from ever even coming to the floor,” Grimes said. “While Senator McConnell might be thriving, Kentucky is only barely surviving. After nearly 30 years in office, I’m here to tell you Senator McConnell, it stops now.”
Grimes said she supports coal, and will fight to ensure the fuel’s place in the country’s energy mix. She also said she disagrees with parts of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, and that it needs to be fixed.
Grimes, a Democrat and currently Kentucky’s Secretary of State, told the crowd that McConnell has voted against the interests of workers in the state’s coal industry.
“Your empty rhetoric about fighting for our coal industry while you vote against its workers and their retirees stops now,” Grimes said. “I will fight for Kentucky coal because in the words of Jimmy and Chris Rose, it does keep the lights on.”
Grimes was joined at the event by a slew of Kentucky Democratic officials, including Governor Steve Beshear, House Speaker Greg Stumbo and former Governor Paul Patton.
Representative John Yarmuth and former President Bill Clinton also recorded video messages for the event.
Grimes announced earlier at the beginning of July that she’d run for Senate in 2014 after months of speculation. She’ll have opponents in the Democratic primary, such as Louisville musician Bennie J. Smith and Owensboro building contractor Ed Marksberry. Recently, Louisville businessman Matt Bevin announced that he’d run in the Republican primary against Mitch McConnell.