Some may be rolling their eyes at the intense focus on the 2012 election cycle even before the 2010 midterms were settled. But here comes what may be the first story about the 2014 cycle.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, elected to his fifth term in the chamber just two years ago, tells Politico that there is no doubt he will seek re-election in 2014.
“I’m not planning on running — I am running,” he said. “I’ve never been someone who has started late or who agonized publicly over whether I was going to run. I feel like I’m at the top of my game, at my peak effectiveness and I certainly am going to run again in 2014.”
Politico reported that the 68-year-old Kentucky Republican, who has listed knocking off President Barack Obama in 2012 among his top priorities, is hiring key staffers and beginning to build a war chest for his own re-election bid. The Senate’s top Republican has shown an ability to generate large sums of money when necessary — he raised more than $16 million in 2008 alone — but reported just $668,000 in his campaign account at the end of September.
Some staff transitions in the McConnell Senate office prompted speculation earlier this month he might not be interested in another term.
We’re tempted to speculate about potential 2014 opponents, but the Democrats’ bench in Kentucky isn’t particularly strong. Democrats occupy just two of the Bluegrass State’s six House seats — Reps. John Yarmuth and Ben Chandler. It’s worth noting that Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear’s first term expires in 2012.