Owensboro Democrat Ed Marksberry is running in the 2014 Kentucky race for U.S. Senate.

Marksberry is a building contractor and former congressional candidate, who ran unsuccessfully against Republican Congressman Brett Guthrie two years ago. He lost that race by 35 points.

On his campaign website, Marksberry says he shares the experience of middle-class Kentuckians and knows first-hand their struggles in this difficult economy.

“I feel my background provides me the independence I believe voters are looking for from their elected officials,” he says. “I’m not beholden to corporate or Wall Street money, therefore I can focus on what that Kentucky families need from our government.”

Marksberry made the announcement Wednesday in Louisville. He is the first Democrat to jump in the race against Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, as speculation grows on the list of potential challengers, including Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes and actress Ashley Judd.