Are Clinton and Ford holding out for Grimes as the Democrats' 2014 Senate candidate?

03/10/2013 01:15 PM

Former President Bill Clinton and former U.S. Sen. Wendell Ford have recently downplayed an Ashley Judd run for U.S. Senate seemingly opening national discussion for Secretary of State Allison Lundergan Grimes to potentially run.

Ford, who served in the U.S. Senate from 1974-1998, said last week there may be a better Democratic candidate than Judd to face Sen. Mitch McConnell in 2014.

“I think there’s maybe some other candidate out there that might be better — with political experience, and with some background. She’s a smart woman apparently,” Ford told Brandon Bartlett of 14-WFIE TV last week.

Clinton would likely be part of a powerful support group Lundergan Grimes could muster in mounting a campaign against Judd, and eventually McConnell. The former president wrote a personal check to her campaign in 2011.

Grimes’ father, businessman and former Democratic party chairman Jerry Lundergan, has close ties to both Hillary and Bill Clinton.

And the former president was unwilling to speculate on the possible Democratic challengers to McConnell when asked whom he would support by the Huffington Post

“I don’t know, because I have to wait and see who gets in,” Clinton said while in Owensboro for a fundraiser last week for the Wendell Ford Center.

Judd, for her part, has met with her own high-profile support group that includes the politically connected Brown family from Louisville. The actress met with donors at the home of Christy Brown in February, as Pure Politics first reported . U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth is also in Judd’s corner and has been publicly calling on Judd challenge to McConnell.

One thing Ford, the former Kentucky governor and U.S. Senator, was willing to offer of Judd was that McConnell is “worried” about a challenge.

“McConnell seems to be worried about it. He’s raised so much money (and) already started spots against her — or some of his friends started spots against her,” Ford said. “I think that helps her.”

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm joined cn|2 in December 2011 as a reporter for Pure Politics. He is now the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics. Throughout his career, Nick has covered several big political stories up close, including interviewing President Barack Obama on the campaign trail back in 2008. Nick says he loves being at the forefront of Kentucky politics and working with the brightest journalists in the commonwealth. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@twcnews.com.

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