November 30, 2015

Kentucky Dem Chairman Admits Dems Can’t Find A Senate Candidate

Democrats’ losses in the Kentucky statewide elections earlier this month didn’t just embarrass the Party that had been confidently predicting a win in the governor’s race, it took their most viable candidate in the 2016 senate race off of the bench when State Auditor Adam Edelen lost in an upset, and subsequently ruled out a senate bid.

Now Bluegrass State Democrats are scrambling to find a candidate, and Party leaders aren’t sounding very confident. The Courier-Journal reports:

Patrick Hughes, chairman of the state Democratic Party, said he’s hopeful that the party will be able to come up with a top-tier candidate to challenge Paul, who Democrats believe is weakened by a presidential run that has faltered.

But Hughes admits that he’s not sure who that might be.

The article goes on to mention a handful of potential candidates:

Talk in the party has largely settled around actress Ashley Judd and state Veterans Affairs Commissioner Heather French Henry, and there are some in the party who are holding out hope that some wealthy business person who’s not been involved in politics before will step forward.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, who lost the Democratic primary to challenge Sen. Mitch McConnell in 2008, is also often mentioned as a possible challenger.

But then debunks their likelihood of running one by one.

Henry said her plan is to head back to her foundation that helps veterans when her job as commissioner ends. Though she didn’t rule out a run completely, she said a federal office may not be the best fit for her now…

…Fischer doesn’t seem eager to jump into the race. “The mayor enjoys being mayor,” said Chris Poynter, his spokesman.

And Judd, best known for floating a failed trial balloon in the 2014 Kentucky senate race that hit a little road bump when it became clear she didn’t even live in the state, “didn’t return an email seeking comment” via her publicist.

If Kentucky Democrats’ best hope is a radically liberal Hollywood actress and vocal supporter of President Obama, who until recently didn’t live in the state, it makes sense that Party leaders are carefully managing expectations.