2014 Kentucky Senate race

Politics
10:44 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Heather French Henry Calls for Political 'Time Out' After GOP Attack

Heather French Henry
Credit Wikipedia Commons

In a scolding blog post, former Miss America Heather French Henry calls out the Republican Party of Kentucky for calling her the latest "bottom-of-the-barrel pick" for the U.S. Senate race.

Henry is the latest rumored opponent for Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, and she recently confirmed that Democrats have approached her about running.

Others include environmental activist Tom FitzGerald, music promoter Bennie J. Smith and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

The news of Henry's possible candidacy has been mocked by national and state GOP leaders for the most part, but a comment from RPK spokeswoman Kelsey Cooper has upset Henry personally.

From the Lexington Herald-Leader:

"Heather French Henry is just the latest bottom-of-the-barrel pick for Kentucky Democrats in their desperate search for a 2014 Senate race savior to replace their noncommittal star, Alison Lundergan Grimes," Kelsey Cooper, a spokeswoman for the state GOP, said via email.

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Politics
2:12 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Poll: Alison Lundergan Grimes, Mitch McConnell Tied in Potential U.S. Senate Matchup

Grimes and McConnell
Credit Kentucky Secretary of State/U.S. Senate

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and potential Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes are tied in a new poll of Kentucky voters, though state Republicans are calling the results a "sham."

The poll, by Public Policy Polling, stated that McConnell and Grimes were each supported by 45 percent of Kentucky voters. In April, a PPP poll showed Grimes trailing by 4 points. In December, she trailed by 7 points. 

The PPP poll was paid for by the Senate Majority PAC, an organization founded with the help of Democratic U.S. Senator Harry Reid, the current majority leader. 

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Politics
8:00 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Congressman John Yarmuth: Alison Lundergan Grimes Must ‘Immediately Decide’ on Senate Bid

Ky. Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes and U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky.

Kentucky's lone Democratic congressman says he is confident the party will find an opponent to defeat Senate Republican Mitch McConnell, but adds Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes needs to make a decision.

The GOP is beginning to gloat that Democrats cannot find a suitable challenger willing to take on McConnell next year.

Grimes is considered the top contender in the field and she met with Governor Steve Beshear last week to discuss the race. But Grimes was still "wrestling" with the idea of running for Senate after sitting down with the governor.

Observers are beginning to question if the race is beyond Democrat's reach despite McConnell's unpopularity. The GOP leader has a $13.5 million head start and the political rumor mill is beginning to move on to former Miss America Heather French Henry, who is now reportedly being encouraged to run.

In an exclusive WFPL interview, Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth says Grimes needs to let whatever those plans are known before the summer or risk hurting the party.

"I do think that it is important that Alison Grimes immediately decide whether she’s running or not because there are a number of people sitting on the sidelines who would be interested I think in making a race who are waiting to find out what she does. And for her to keep prolonging this as she said possibly until the late summer I think is a disservice to the party," he says.

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Politics
1:32 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Now Heather French Henry? Less Prominent Candidates May Hurt Democrats' Senate Hopes

Heather French Henry
Credit Wikipedia Commons

Now it's Heather French Henry's turn.

The former Miss America has joined a list of half a dozen party activists or leaders waiting for Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes to decide whether she'll run in 2014 against Mitch McConnell for his U.S. Senate seat. 

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Politics
11:25 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Kentucky Republicans Beef Up Campaign Army for U.S. Senate Race; Democrats on Standby

Mitch McConnell
Credit U.S. Senate

Senator Mitch McConnell's next election is a year and a half away, yet he doesn't have a serious opponent. But this hasn't stopped him from amassing significant money and personnel for his re-election.  

Each week, the effort to re-elect McConnell adds new field directors, political staff and fundraisers.

They have the same goal, but they don't have the same boss. Some of the staffers work for McConnell's campaign. Others for the Republican Party of Kentucky. And others work for SuperPACs.

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Politics
12:03 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Mitch McConnell Releases New Ad Celebrating Kentucky Derby

Senator Mitch McConnell
Credit File photo

In a new online ad, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell says the annual Kentucky Derby demonstrates the focus and determination of the state he represents.

The spot is being released on the eve of the Triple Crown and is narrated by the GOP leader, who compares the horse race to the spirit of Kentuckians.

"The twin spires of Churchill Downs host the world's finest horses. But it's a race where the horses tell us as much about a people as they do about themselves. If you listen closely, you can hear the story of Kentucky in the thunder of their hooves. Each stride reflects the focus of a people determined to succeed," says McConnell.

Watch:

McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton says it is the latest example their "commitment to being the most innovative Senate campaign in history."

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Politics
3:11 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Kentucky Environmentalist Tom FitzGerald Mulling Bid Against Mitch McConnell

Environmental lawyer Tom FitzGerald
Credit http://valleywatch.net

Environmental activist and Louisville attorney Tom FitzGerald says he is being encouraged to run against Republican Mitch McConnell in the Kentucky 2014 U.S. Senate race.

The 58-year-old Democrat currently serves as executive director of the Kentucky Resources Council, an environmental group that lobbies state lawmakers on conservation issues.

In a telephone interview, FitzGerald told WFPL the decision is still in its early stages and leaving the non-profit world would be a significant change.

"For me to go into electoral politics and partisan politics is a very different way of approaching public service. I have a real fondness and appreciation for the amazing people of this Commonwealth and I've devoted my adult life to try to improve the quality of the community's health," he says.

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Politics
1:56 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Gabrielle Giffords's Super PAC Slams Mitch McConnell Over Gun Background Check Vote

Credit Executive Office of the President

A super PAC founded by former Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is calling out Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell for voting against gun control measures in a new radio advertisement.

Americans Responsible for Solutions was formed by Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly, and is launching the spots in the Louisville and Lexington areas. Giffords, who was shot in the head during a 2011 shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., has been an outspoken proponent for gun control measures since retiring from Congress.

The ad implores McConnell to listen to voters, and highlights 82 percent of Kentuckians favor background checks for gun purchases.

"McConnell opposed common sense checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals," the narrator says. "Written by a Republican and a Democrat. Supported by law enforcement officers. It was a common sense plan that protected Second Amendment Rights. But Senator McConnell ignored the will of the people."

Listen:


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Politics
11:08 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Senator Mitch McConnell Addresses Progress Kentucky, Defends Record on Mental Health Issues

Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.,

In a new op-ed piece, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell finally addresses a liberal super PAC accused of recording of his campaign office.

McConnell has personally avoided talking about Progress Kentucky directly, but his re-election campaign and surrogates have focused on the groups in TV ads and news releases. 

Some observers have said the issue at hand isn't how the secret recording of the McConnell campaign was obtained, but aides talking about Ashley Judd's struggles with depression as a part of opposition research.

The GOP leader takes time to respond to newspaper columnist Merlene Davis, who wrote McConnell owed Judd an apology for strategizing on how to attack the Hollywood actresses's past mental health problems but not before taking a swipe at the "partisan zealots" at Progress.

From The Lexington Herald-Leader:

Shortly after the FBI began investigating a criminal recording at my campaign headquarters, Davis penned an opinion column here echoing the framework of the left-wing journalist who obtained the illegally recorded audio in the first place.

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Politics
10:00 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Mitch McConnell Ad Spotlights FBI Probe, al-Qaeda Comparison

Credit Kenny Colston / Kentucky Public Radio

The campaign to re-elect Republican Senator Mitch McConnell launched a new TV ad Thursday, which continues to pummel liberal super PAC Progress Kentucky and other groups for their attacks.

Asking "how dirty" will Democrats get, the narrator says McConnell is President Obama's number one target while highlighting the FBI investigation into a secret recording of a McConnell campaign strategy meeting.  WFPL broke the story that a local Democratic official alleged two activists involved with Progress were behind the recording.

The ad also digs at Americans United for Change, which launched a commercial which said McConnell's position against gun background checks put him in agreement with the terrorist group al-Qaeda.

"The far left is desperate to hurt Senator McConnell and have resorted to some of the dirtiest tactics in memory," McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton said in a release. "Whether it be the left's racist attacks, their spying and illegal recording of our office meetings or comparing Mitch to mass-murderers and Al Qaeda terrorists, Kentuckians are appalled and will not stand for it."

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