2014 Kentucky Senate race

Politics
1:26 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Pros and Cons for Potential 2014 Mitch McConnell Challengers Judd, Grimes and Bevin

Ashley Judd
Credit Creative Commons

Kentuckians have 590 days-plus before the 2014 general election, but already the political chatter is centered on potential challengers to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell—chiefly actress Ashley Judd and her potential candidacy's supposed strengths and weaknesses.

But Judd isn't the only possible candidate.

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Politics
2:38 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Congressman John Yarmuth: Democrats Trying to ‘Sabotage’ Ashley Judd Are Making a Mistake

Actress Ashley Judd
Credit Salon

Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth is defending actress Ashley Judd against fellow Democrats who he says will regret trying to "sabotage" the Hollywood star's candidacy against Republican Senator Mitch McConnell.

For weeks, state Democratic consultants and donors have voiced caution, arguing Judd is too liberal to win in Kentucky and could cost the party seats in the General Assembly. And national Democratic groups are reportedly having second thoughts about Judd running in 2014 as well.

Yarmuth says those naysayers have often been wrong and haven’t presented a viable candidate of their own to take on the GOP leader, adding many should accept Judd is running.

"I absolutely think that some of the Democrats who are trying to sabotage an Ashley Judd campaign are making a very big mistake. There is no alternative to Ashley Judd right now. She is widely popular in Kentucky. She has generated an unprecedented excitement in the media both locally and across the country," he says. "And I think a lot of these people are going to be very embarrassed and have to eat a lot of crow when they have to support her—and they will aggressively support her—in the general election."

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Politics
9:55 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Mitch McConnell's Wife Slams Progress Kentucky in First TV Ad

Credit YouTube.com

In the first TV ad of the 2014 Kentucky Senate race, Republican Mitch McConnell's wife jabs a liberal super PAC for attacking her ethnicity.

As WFPL reported last month, Progress Kentucky sent out a number of messages via Twitter attacking former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, with a focus on her race.

The national backlash forced the group to eventually apologize, and in the 30-second spot Chao says that represents the overall tone of the campaign.

"You've seen the ads attacking my husband.  As Mitch McConnell's wife, I have come to expect them," Chao says in the ad.  "Now, far left special interests are also attacking my ethnicity, even attacking Mitch's patriotism because he's married to me. That's how low some people will stoop."

Watch:

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Politics
3:59 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Team Mitch Launching First TV Ad This Week

Senator Mitch McConnell
Credit File photo

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell will be running his first TV ad for re-election in Kentucky this week.

McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton confirmed with WFPL it will be a "positive buy" costing six figures and will begin airing Thursday.

Thus far, the GOP leader has been pummeled by attack ads from liberal groups on gun regulations and birth control.

"Every out-of-state liberal group with an axe to grind is desperate to tear Mitch down at all costs, but we're going to make sure we communicate our positive message to every voter in the commonwealth," says Benton.

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Politics
2:00 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Outgoing Young Republicans Chair: Backing Mitch McConnell Caused Loss to Tea Party Activist

Louisville Young Republicans
Credit http://louisvilleyr.org/

The outgoing chair of the Louisville Young Republicans says he lost his seat to a Tea Party activist due to publicly supporting Senator Mitch McConnell’s re-election campaign.

James Young had served as the group's leader since last year, but lost re-election to Louisville Tea Party Vice President Andrew Schachtner this week.

The chair position was the only contested seat in the group's elections Monday.

Young says he didn't begin to receiving threats of opposition until he began defending McConnell on this station.

"I'm very confident my appearance fueled some ideas in the minds of people looking for opportunities," he says. "There was an instance where I was specifically told through other individuals that ‘hey there are some people very upset within Tea Party organization that view you using your position to support Senator McConnell' and influencing others to do so."

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Politics
8:59 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Filibuster Reveals Close But 'Shrewd' Relationship Between Rand Paul, Mitch McConnell

Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul at a Tea Party rally in Kentucky
Credit Kenny Colston / Kentucky Public Radio

Senator Rand Paul’s nearly 13-hour talking filibuster reveals a telling wrinkle about the so-called symbiotic relationship with fellow Kentuckian and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

According to the National Journal, a week and a half before the speech Paul approached McConnell's campaign manager Jesse Benton—who is also Paul's nephew—about blocking the nomination of CIA director John Brennan.

The Republican leader had considered such a move beforehand, according to sources. But McConnell was glad to help "win over" other GOP senators to the idea on Paul's behalf in another attempt to show their solidarity.

"There were multiple discussions at senior staff levels about Senator Paul's plans to hold the Brennan nomination, and Sen. McConnell had agreed to hold, at the least, Mr. Brennan's confirmation to a 60 vote threshold," says Benton.

It was a masterful coordination that put the Obama administration's drone policy in the national spotlight, and put Senate Democrats on their heels.

But what Team Mitch was apparently unaware of was Paul's intention to actually perform a "talking" filibuster rather a "cloture." The reaction amongst McConnell surrogates has been a mix of admiration ("he's savvy") and apprehension ("it was shrewd").

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Politics
11:53 am
Fri March 8, 2013

NRSC Slams Ashley Judd's Residency, Questions Kentucky Roots

Republicans Attack Judd's residency
Credit NRSC

The National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee is mocking actress Ashley Judd's lack of residency in Kentucky as she considers a bid against Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell.

In the faux fundraising e-mail, the NRSC asks potential donors to help Judd find a place to live in the Bluegrass state.

"Ashley Judd needs your help. Despite the fact that she lives in Tennessee, Judd desperately wants to run for Senate in neighboring Kentucky," the e-mail reads. "I know what you're thinking: how can a person who has said 'Tennessee is home,' that San Francisco is 'my American city home' and that she 'winters in Scotland' run for Senate in Kentucky?"

Judd being a Tennessee resident and delegate at the 2012 Democratic National Convention has been a consistent point of attack for Republicans . Last month, Karl Rove's super PAC American Crossroads released an ad that pummeled her with that point, among other things.

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Politics
4:40 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Kentucky College Republicans Defend Harlem Shake Video for Team Mitch

Kentucky Federation of College Republicans

A group of Kentucky college Republicans are calling out a Tea Party leader who criticized their Harlem Shake video for Sen. Mitch McConnell's re-election campaign.

The Kentucky Federation of College Republicans approached Team Mitch with the idea, and recorded their version of the meme outside of Churchill Downs in Louisville.

But United Kentucky Tea Party spokesman John Kemper said Thursday it shows the McConnell campaign is ignoring important issues.

"Mitch wants to look cool, rather than lead, come on Mitch, probably yet another (campaign manager Jesse) Benton idea. These guys are out of touch with Kentuckians," he said via Facebook.

In a statement, college Republican chairman Rhett Ramsey says Kemper is only interested in tearing down McConnell and fellow GOP officeholders, and they will no longer support his "aspirations" in politics.

From KFCR:

Instead of encouraging college students and young voters to promote activism, Mr. Kemper made a swipe at our attempt for fun, civic engagement. It seems like Mr. Kemper is too busy attacking Leader McConnell and fellow republican office holders at every turn, instead of praising youth involvement and acknowledging our efforts in party building.

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Politics
9:12 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Team Mitch Does the Harlem Shake

Credit YouTube.com

The viral video dance craze of the new Harlem Shake hit the 2014 Kentucky U.S. Senate campaign trail.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's re-election campaign released their version of the meme. It begins with a person wearing a McConnell mask dancing to the song outside Churchill Down, and well...just watch below.

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Politics
5:00 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Courier-Journal, Daily Caller Raise Questions Over Ashley Judd's Nude Scenes

Actress Ashley Judd
Credit Salon

If you were unaware, actress Ashley Judd is considering a run for U.S. Senate in Kentucky.

It's a big deal given that the Hollywood star could be taking on not just any lawmaker, but Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

Critics have suggested Judd is too liberal, too close to President Obama and too anti-coal to run in Kentucky. And she still lives in Tennessee.

But this week a new narrative questions whether Judd has been too nude to run.

From The Courier-Journal:

"...Judd has bared her body in several movies.The question is, how does that effect her chances of winning election if she decides to challenge Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell next year.

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