Lt. Governor Jerry Abramson says he is considering run for Senate against McConnell


by Joe Arnold

Posted on November 9, 2012 at 6:35 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 9 at 7:21 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- It was Ashley Judd on Thursday and now it’s Jerry Abramson.

For the first time, Kentucky’s lieutenant governor and long time Louisville mayor confirms on Friday that he is considering both a run for United States Senate against Mitch McConnell and a run for governor in 2015.

“I'm giving it some thought,” Abramson(D) said. “I haven't ruled it out.”

Supporters of the Mayor for Life knew that Lt. Governor was likely not his final political destination.  Now, the buzz about Ashley Judd's potential candidacy for U.S. Senate is beginning to draw out talk of other potential candidates.

“I'm going to try to make that decision in the next several weeks, no more than a month and also talk to other candidates to try to get the best person in the race,” Abramson said.

That's the mission of top Kentucky Democrats - to choose a candidate who can topple the longest serving U.S. Senator in Kentucky history - Louisville's Mitch McConnell.

Possible candidates include:top Obama fundraiser and former ambassador to Sweden Matthew Barzun, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan-Grimes, Lt. Governor and former Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson and current Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

Democratic strategist Bob Gunnell says Abramson is ideal - because he would have the enthusiastic backing of Governor Beshear and now has support both in urban and rural areas.

“He was a rock star when he went out into the state and spoke in some places.  And he also - he's the guy who can carry Louisville with very large margins,” Bob Gunnell, Democratic Strategist, said.

 “I don't know about ideal candidate.  I've had a couple of calls from friends in Washington laying out a game plan that they felt would be a positive opportunity to run for the Senate, but the reality is my public service career has been in the executive branch,” Abramson said.

Abramson said he is also giving though to the governor’s race.

“…I'll try to make a decision on that governor’s race by probably next spring maybe summer,” Abramson said.

In a statement, McConnell's campaign manager says,

"President Obama's team is busily trying to recruit a candidate that will enjoy carrying his banner to an electorate that just defeated him in 116 of 120 counties."

Indeed the 2014 mid-term election promises to be a challenge for democrats in Kentucky, and McConnell's 7 million head start in campaign cash whoever decides to run against him, will likely need to make a decision soon.