Update 3:2o p.m.: ‘I’m Only Encouraged’
Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced Monday that she will run for re-election in 2015.
Many had speculated that Grimes would run for attorney general, lieutenant governor or governor this year. On Friday, she announced she would run for a statewide office, but did not say which one.
“Today I come before you and I ask you to humbly give that same faith and trust to continue to be your voice,” Grimes said during Monday’s announcement in Lexington.
Grimes was elected to the secretary of state post in 2011 and is serving a four-year term in the position. Officials can only serve two consecutive terms as secretary of state.
Grimes lost to Sen. Mitch McConnell in a grueling race for his U.S. Senate seat last year. Democrats had initially hoped she would oust McConnell from his seat, which he has held for five terms. Final polls before the election suggested a close race, however Grimes lost by over 15 percentage points in the final returns.
“Many might think over the course of the last 18 months I’d be discouraged,” Grimes said of the 2014 election. “I’m not. I’m only encouraged.”
At the rally, secretary Grimes outlined legislative issues for the 2015 General Assembly, including a bill filed by Rep. Jesse Crenshaw, a Democrat from Lexington, which would give voting rights to nonviolent felons.
“It’s not a Democrat idea, it’s not a Republican idea, it’s just sound policy,” Grimes said. “When you have paid your debt to society you should be re-enfranchised.”
Shortly after the news conference, Democratic gubernatorial candidate and attorney general Jack Conway released a statement in support of Grimes’ bid for reelection.
“Her energy and talents will be an asset to our efforts this fall,” Conway said in the statement.
Grimes would not say if she endorses Conway’s gubernatorial campaign.
When asked if she would challenge Republican Congressman Andy Barr for his seat, Grimes responded.
“Energy and excitement today is not enough? Today is about the announcement for Secretary of State and doing a good job with this office, I’m confident whatever doors are meant to open will open.”
Alison Lundergan Grimes, who unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Senate last year, will be a 2015 candidate for re-election as Kentucky’s secretary of state, she announced Monday.
The filing deadline is Tuesday. So far, only Republican Stephen Knipper has filed to run for the post.
Grimes lost to Sen. Mitch McConnell in a grueling race for his U.S. Senate seat last year. Democrats had initially hoped she would oust McConnell from his seat, which he has held for five terms. Final polls before the election suggested a close race, however Grimes lost by more than 15 percentage points in the final returns. She won the Democratic primary for the that race with 77 percent of the vote.
Considered a rising star in the Kentucky Democratic Party, Grimes’ loss triggered months of speculation about her political future. She has been mentioned as a possible candidate for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general since her loss in November. She is currently in her first term of a possible two terms as Kentucky’s secretary of state.
Before she ran for secretary of state in 2011, Grimes was an attorney at Lexington law firm Stoll Keenon Ogden.