LOUISVILLE, Ky (WHAS11) -- When Alison Lundergan Grimes emerged last week to announce her intentions in the U.S. Senate race, the top Democrat in Kentucky had not been told what those intentions were.
"We didn't know about it until she made the announcement," Gov. Steve Beshear (D-Kentucky) acknowledged to reporters in Louisville on Tuesday. "We didn't receive an invitation to be there but that's not a negative to me."
"I'm sure they were kind of working out all the details as they went along," Beshear continued. "but I had already told Alison that if she wanted to run, I was going to be for her. And I'm going to be out there 'pitchin.'"
At the announcement, Grimes was flanked by two former Kentucky governors, so why wasn't the current governor there?
"I didn't really see any of the other Democratic officeholders there," Beshear said, "and it just indicated to me that, hey, it probably really contemplated the decision for some time and apparently just made it in time to make the announcement."
"I'm sure that everybody is going to be on board as we beat Mitch," Beshear said.
In a statement, Grimes' campaign spokesman said "she appreciates the Governor's pledge of support and looks forward to working with him as she makes her formal filing and roll out later this month."
"Alison will put together the strongest campaign Kentucky has ever seen, ready to take on Mitch McConnell and his millions of dollars in special interest money," said Jonathan Hurst. "Come Election Day, Kentuckians will be proud of the amazing campaign Alison has run and excited to see her in the U.S. Senate."
Beshear's support would overcome what is seen as a long standing rivalry between him and Grimes' father, Jerry Lundergan, the former chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party.
"We ran against each other it seems like in the last century, which it was," Beshear smiled. "I don't have any hard feelings at all and I think Alison is going to be a good candidate for us."
Beshear said he did not foresee any other formidable Democratic candidate getting into the Senate race. Owensboro building contractor Ed Marksberry, Louisville music promoter Bennie J. Smith and University of Louisville professor Greg Leichty have all announced campaigns for the Democratic nomination.
"I think Alison will be our candidate," Beshear said.
The governor was asked whether Grimes entering the Senate race clears the field for his son, Andy Beshear, to run for Kentucky Attorney General, a race Grimes had also reportedly considered.
"That race is two years off now so that's a little too early to know," Beshear responded. "I know that Andy's interested in doing that and is looking at it hard but we'll wait and see what happens."