Kentucky: Teachers’ Union Backs Fischer in Senate Primary

Posted March 4, 2008 at 6:31pm

Wealthy businessman Greg Fischer (D) was endorsed Tuesday by the state chapter of the American Federation of Teachers in his campaign to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R).

Fischer is running against several Democrats, including Louisville businessman Bruce Lunsford, for his party’s nomination.

The teachers’ union endorsement comes just days after Fischer took a shot at Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Charles Schumer (N.Y.) in remarks he made at a meeting of the Democratic state central committee that were posted on a Kentucky political blog. In a statement that was confirmed by Fischer’s campaign, the candidate chided Schumer for trying to “manipulate” the Democratic field and for attempting to force a Democratic nominee on the state that “is not a contrast to Mitch McConnell.”

Although Lunsford already has earned the support of several prominent national party leaders, he hasn’t always been universally loved by Kentucky Democrats.

Lunsford earned the ire of many party officials when, after he dropped out of the gubernatorial race in 2003, he went on to endorse the Republican candidate, Ernie Fletcher, over now-Rep. Ben Chandler (D) after a contentious primary battle.

But Lunsford appeared to redeem himself in the 2007 gubernatorial election when, after again dropping his bid, he quickly moved to back now-Gov. Steve Beshear (D).

“To defeat Mitch McConnell this fall, we need a fresh candidate with a clean record who offers new ideas and bold solutions. Greg Fischer is that candidate,” American Federation of Teachers Local 6083 President Connie Sanders said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Democratic candidates will come together next week for their first debate of the cycle, which is being hosted by the Louisville Metro Democratic Club.
— John McArdle