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Grimes in, Henry out and Lunsford warns of tough Senate race

Grimes in, Henry out and Lunsford warns of tough Senate race

by Claudia Coffey


Posted on July 1, 2013 at 11:48 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 2 at 10:57 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – It's official, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes has jumped in the race for Senate taking on the powerful Senator Mitch McConnell.

Grimes, Kentucky's Secretary of State, made the long awaited announcement Monday afternoon in Frankfort.

The decision gives democrats their first top challenger in the 2014 Senate race. It’s been the target of campaign ads for weeks, will she or won't she.

"We can next make the best move, the best difference in the Commonwealth of Kentucky by running for the U.S. Senate," Grimes said.

And with that, Grimes jumped into one of the most highly anticipated and watched Senate campaigns in the country. A decision she says she didn't take lightly.

"Over the course of the past 12 weeks, I have taken the time necessary to gather all of the facts to make a truly informed decision, and that includes listening to my supporters all across this state," Grimes said.

Bruce Lunsford, a Democrat, ran against Senator Mitch McConnell in 2008 and lost despite spending millions of his own money.

In fact, McConnell raised 20 million in the 2008 race and outspent Lunsford two to one.

Whas11 spoke to Lunsford last week, prior to Grimes' announcement today. While he is a fan of Alison's he warns the race will be tough.

“It's the kind of thing that if someone has that kind of money you have to run a flawless campaign because if you make any kind of mistake, that's a lot of money that can be spent against you," Lunsford said.

Grimes was not the only potential candidate eyeing the seat.

Actress Ashley Judd bowed out in March and former Miss America and Kentucky native Heather French Henry told WHAS11 today she told Governor Steve Beshear last week she would not run.

However, she tells me she is not ruling a race in the future, possibly for another office in the year 2015.