McConnell Airs New Ads; Dem Recruit Opts Not To Run

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s re-election campaign is in full swing back home in Kentucky, as he launched two new television ads statewide this week – even as one of his leading potential Democratic rivals opted not to challenge him. 

The ads, airing in Lexington and Louisville, reference the senator’s work securing funding for medical facilities in the Louisville ad, and highlight his help for Kentucky farmers with tobacco buyouts in the Lexington ad. 

The spots, on broadcast and cable television for the rest of the week, cost the campaign about $30,000. It’s the second series of ads McConnell has run in the last two months.

“Senator McConnell has promised to run a very aggressive and effective campaign. And this is a continuation of that effort,” said his campaign spokesman, Justin Brasell.

Meanwhile, the state’s Democratic auditor, Crit Luallen, overwhelmingly re-elected last month, announced over the weekend that she would not be entering the race.

“I have just been reelected as state auditor and look forward to continuing to serve the citizens of Kentucky in that capacity,” Luallen said in a statement. “The polls show that Mitch McConnell is certainly vulnerable and Kentuckians are ready for a change. I am confident that Democrats will field a strong candidate next year.”

Democrats believed Luallen was one of the strongest contenders to challenge McConnell.
Her departure leaves two self-funding businessmen, Bruce Lunsford and Greg Fischer, as possible Democratic challengers. Congressional candidate Andrew Horne, who lost to Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) in a 2006 primary, has said he will likely run.

Outgoing Attorney General Greg Stumbo has formed an exploratory committee, but one Democratic operative doesn’t believe he’ll enter the race.