Conway: 'Not fair' to push Grimes for Senate decision


by Joe Arnold

Posted on June 7, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 7 at 7:22 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky (WHAS11) -- The last Kentucky Democrat to run for U.S. Senate says Alison Lundergan Grimes is wise to look before she leaps into the 2014 race against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

"When you're getting recruited by the DSCC (Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee) and talking to senators up in Washington, they make you a lot of promises, and sometimes those promises aren't always kept," said Attorney General Jack Conway (D-Ky).

Conway lost to Republican Rand Paul in the 2010 U.S. Senate race.

Last week, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky) publicly pressured Grimes to make up her mind on the 2014 race, suggesting her prolonged deliberation would be a "disservice" to the Democratic Party if Grimes eventually decides not to run.

"I don't think it's fair to really push on Alison so much," Conway said to reporters before the Jefferson County Democratic Party's Wendell Ford Dinner in Louisville, "and I hope everyone gives her the space to ask all the right questions, because you're looking at someone who's been there, done that and got the T-shirt.  And so I'm trying to help her ask all the right questions."

Sources close to Grimes have told WHAS11 that she is the only candidate to be approached by the DSCC.  A pollster affiliated with the campaign committee recently conducted surveys of Kentucky voters that included test language on Grimes' record.

Grimes, the first term Secretary of State, has continued to the level of support for a senate campaign from her strongest backers and regional coordinators of her 2011 statewide campaign, an adviser to Grimes confided.

"I will tell you that this Kentucky woman is listening to Kentucky and from what I see we would benefit to have a senator in D.C. that did the same," Grimes said at the Democratic Party fundraiser.

"Alison is doing the smart thing when they make a promise," Conway said.  "She's saying 'Okay, really? Are you going to help me make the calls because there's not enough money in Kentucky to take on Mitch McConnell. It's got to be a national fundraising effort."

"It's not enough to hear them tell you that they're going to help you," Conway continued.  "There are these big donors out all around the country, they run up against these limits of $130,000 or whatever it is, and they've got to hear from the leadership of the Democratic caucus that this is a race they want to invest in."

"So I think there's a responsibility on the DSCC and the leadership of the Democratic Caucus to step up and say 'Yeah, this is a priority for us, too and to make it happen," Conway said.