Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced she will challenge Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2014, ending months of speculation about whether Democrats could deliver a top recruit for that targeted race.
"I have met with my supporters, we have had a great conversation, and determined and decided that we can next make the best move, the best difference in the commonwealth of Kentucky, by running for the U.S. Senate," Grimes said at a Monday event in Kentucky.
National Democrats had laid all their hopes with Grimes' bid since March, when actress Ashley Judd announced she wouldn't run against McConnell. A top fundraiser and brutal campaigner, McConnell is a top target for Democrats this cycle.
Just days before her announcement, a Republican super PAC started to air advertisements attacking Grimes. The spots linked Grimes to President Barack Obama, who remains deeply unpopular in the Bluegrass State.
McConnell boasts an impressive war chest, and his campaign reported $8.6 million in the bank earlier this year. That number will likely change in the next two weeks, when the Republican announces his fundraising haul for the second quarter of this year.
Grimes said she is not worried about coming into the race as an underdog.
"I agree with thousands of Kentuckians that Kentucky is tired of 28 years of obstruction; that Kentucky is tired of someone who has voted against raising the minimum wage while all the while quadrupling his own net worth. Kentucky is tired of a senior senator that has lost touch with Kentucky issues, voters and their values," Grimes said at the announcement.
Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rates this a Republican Favored contest.