McConnell Gets First Serious Democratic Challenger

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has his first serious Democratic challenger for 2008.

Retired Lieutenant colonel Andrew Horne (D), who lost a Democratic primary to Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) last year, is taking a second crack at the political arena with his Senate announcement today.

“I'm running for U.S. Senate because it's time for a change and because Senator Mitch McConnell is more than part of the problem. He is the problem," Horne said in his campaign announcement video. "It is time for Kentuckians to take our government and country back."

Horne has been popular among liberal bloggers, but isn’t viewed as a top-tier candidate by Democratic operatives. His 2006 House campaign was publicly supported by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, but he finished 22 points behind Yarmuth in the primary.

Outgoing Kentucky attorney general Greg Stumbo (D) has formed an exploratory committee, but has not officially launched any campaign. And two self-funding businessmen, Bruce Lunsford and Greg Fischer, are also considered possible Democratic challengers.

McConnell recently launched a second series of television ads throughout Kentucky, preparing for a contested race ahead. But he caught a break when one of his possible strongest opponents, state Auditor Crit Luallen, announced she would not challenge him.