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

03/10/2013 12:15 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.”

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or


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