DSCC Touts Lunsford’s Potential

Posted May 21, 2008 at 4:57pm

Democrats are hailing wealthy health care executive Bruce Lunsford’s easy victory in Tuesday’s Kentucky Senate primary, and believe the high-profile businessman is well-equipped to battle Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) in the fall.

“Kentuckians who want to change the direction the country is headed in will have a chance to do so in November by electing Bruce Lunsford,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Charles Schumer (N.Y.) said. “Republicans in Washington have obstructed change in our foreign and economic policies for too long, and by electing Bruce Lunsford, Kentucky can reject that obstructionism and move the country forward.”

Lunsford, who twice ran for governor, cruised to victory in the seven-way Democratic primary, taking 51 percent of the vote. Democrats now believe the momentum from their 2007 triumphs can carry over into November.

But McConnell, the state’s leading Republican and a notorious political brawler, remains formidable. He had more than $7.7 million in his campaign account as of March 31.

And in statements Tuesday night, McConnell left no doubt that he’ll seek to link Lunsford with the likely Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.), who took just 30 percent of the vote in the Bluegrass State’s presidential primary Tuesday.

“I am honored to once again be able to place myself before the voters of Kentucky and look forward to running against the Lunsford-Obama plan for America,” McConnell said, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Lunsford told supporters that he expects the attacks to come immediately from McConnell. He said the four-term Senator is “going to spend millions of dollars trying to destroy my reputation. But I don’t care how many names he’s going to call me, because in January he’s going to call me ‘Senator.’”

Meanwhile, in the state’s top competitive House primary Tuesday, state Sen. David Boswell (D) beat Daviess County Judge/Executive Reid Haire (D) in the central Kentucky 2nd district.

Boswell’s victory likely came on the back of his high name recognition in the district after 18 years in the state Senate. He also previously served as state agricultural commissioner and had been known to have his eye on the Congressional seat for some time.

Boswell will now face Republican state Sen. Brett Guthrie in the general election. Republicans are favored to hold the seat that Rep. Ron Lewis (R) is giving up, but Democrats believe they have a chance, and Boswell is a conservative in the mold of Democrats who recently won special House elections in the South.

In other Kentucky House news, former Rep. Anne Northup (R) easily won her primary in the 3rd district, setting up a rematch with the man who defeated her in 2006, Rep. John Yarmuth (D).