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Another Democrat Passes On McConnell Challenge Another Democrat Passes On McConnell Challenge

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Another Democrat Passes On McConnell Challenge

photo of Sarah Mimms
January 15, 2013

Despite polls showing him vulnerable, some of the Democrats' best-known prospects against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell don't sound all that interested in running against him.

Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway is the latest, telling the AP that he is looking seriously at a bid for governor in 2015, a sign that he'll skip the 2014 race against McConnell, leaving the minority leader with few potential challengers on either side of the aisle.

Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth told Louisville's WDRB-TV last week that he has no interest in mounting a bid for the seat, while actress Ashley Judd, who came within four points of McConnell in his own internal polling, seems to have her sights set on Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., instead. That leaves Democrats with one potential challenger: Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. Grimes said in October that she was being encouraged to run, but has remained mum since.

Conservatives have also been rumbling about ousting McConnell this cycle -- particularly after he brokered a compromise on the fiscal cliff that failed to include spending cuts -- but have failed to produce a viable alternative. Freshman Rep. Thomas Massie and former gubernatorial candidate Phil Moffett, who have been mentioned as possible challengers, have both indicated that McConnell won't face a primary challenge in 2014.

"His race will be against a Democrat, I think, in Kentucky," Massie told Fox News just before the fiscal cliff vote.

McConnell should count himself lucky after seeing his own hand-picked Senate candidate fall to the tea party in 2010. With so many big names from both parties opting out of a challenge and $6.9 million in the bank, McConnell couldn't ask for much better positioning heading into his re-election year.

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