Backed by big-name Democrats, Alison Lundergan Grimes joins Secretary of State race

01/20/2011 04:40 PM

FRANKFORT — Alison Lundergan Grimes, daughter of former Kentucky Democratic Party chairman Jerry Lundergan, made official her candidacy for Secretary of State against the Democrat the governor appointed to that post.

Minutes after filing her candidacy papers with the Secretary of State’s office, Grimes, stood in the Capitol rotunda with several prominent Democrats to explain her platform, which includes making the secretary of state’s office “an ambassador for business” as well as protecting voting rights.

She brought with her on her announcement tour in Lexington, Frankfort and Louisville on Thursday a host of big-name Democrats, including House Speaker Greg Stumbo, Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo, state Sen. Julian Carroll and Rep. Derrick Graham, as well as local officials from Franklin County. Her “listening tour” continues Friday.

Grimes is a Lexington lawyer who previously sought the Democratic nomination to run in special election for state House District 75 in Lexington. Rep. Kelly Flood won that Democratic nomination in 2009.

In this May’s Democratic primary for Secretary of State, Grimes will face Elaine Walker, the soon-to-be incumbent Secretary of State. Gov. Steve Beshear appointed Walker, the mayor of Bowling Green, to fill in the remaining 11 months of the term of Republican Trey Grayson. Grayson is resigning at the end of the month to be the director of the Harvard University Institute on Politics.

Grimes said she didn’t speak to the governor about the appointment of Walker and doesn’t view any potential inside views Walker may gain as an incumbent as a disadvantage on the campaign trail.

So far, only one Republican, Bill Johnson, has filed to run for Secretary of State.

-Reporting and video by Kenny Colston


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