Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes hasn’t said if she is running for U.S. Senate against incumbent Mitch McConnell, but a pair of preemptive attack ads aren’t waiting.
The first is a web video released by the McConnell campaign which mocks Democratic leaders who are trying to get Grimes in the race.
It features impersonators of President Obama, Governor Steve Beshear and Congressman John Yarmuth imploring Grimes to jump in the 2014 contest through a series of voicemail messages. Each have their own motivations, but it underscores how Democrats have been pressuring Grimes to jump in.
The online ad also lampoons other Democrats trying to reach Grimes such as former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Louisville mayor Harvey Sloane, who ran against McConnell in 1990.
The other advertisement is a TV commercial being launched Tuesday by a pro-McConnell super PAC that has spent around $260,000.
The group Kentuckians for Strong Leadership argues that if Grimes is elected she would be a senator who would “rubber stamp” the Obama agenda. At a recent Democratic dinner, Grimes called out McConnell’s “obstruction” which GOP groups have latched onto as a sign that she would back the president.
The attack ad also highlights reports that Grimes has been meeting with national Democrat such as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to gain support for a possible bid.
This ad is in response to a $250,000 ad buy by a pair of Democratic-leaning super PACs that criticized McConnell’s 30-year tenure in office. According to Politico, those ads are now moving online as national Democrats pledge to continue their efforts to unseat Kentucky’s senior senator.
Political observers on both sides note this is an escalation of attention and financial commitment in Kentucky’s Senate race despite the fact Democrats have no fielded a high-profiled candidate.
At least three Democrats have formally declared their candidacies, Owensboro contract Ed Marksberry, University of Louisville professor Greig Leichty and Louisville music promoter Bennie J. Smith.