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. 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 @Nick_Storm. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or



  • Hutch wrote on March 10, 2013 06:23 PM :

    Grimes is over-rated. Edelen is self-absorbed. Conway is a loser. Crit is boring. Judd is best candidate.

  • retired Letcher County miner wrote on March 11, 2013 08:56 AM :

    Ashley Judd has moral courage, and thats what makes McConnell cringe at the thought of her running against him. Judd will be able to raise her own money and not need to sell her soul to run.

  • sam pierce wrote on March 11, 2013 12:21 PM :

    Let the Democrats have a knockdown primary with several candidates. We Republicans need to clear the way for Mitch.
    Go Mitch Go!!!!!! Win Mitch Win!!!!!!

  • Bert Higginbotham wrote on March 12, 2013 04:36 PM :

    Does Ashley Judd live in Kentucky? When did she move back?

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