Beshear offers Lundergan Grimes an olive branch and fundraising support against McConnell

07/09/2013 04:10 PM

Political insiders know that the Beshear clan and the Lundergan clan might both be big Democratic families in Kentucky — but they’re not exactly fans of each other.

Bad blood dates back to the 1970s when Steve Beshear and Jerry Lundergan both served in the same state House seat in Lexington at different points. It got worse when Lundergan backed Wallace Wilkinson for governor over Beshear in 1987.

And that family feud was a juicy footnote to the 2011 elections when Steve Beshear was re-elected governor and Lundergan’s daughter became secretary of state.

Now that Alison Lundergan Grimes is running for U.S. Senate next year to take on Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, it might be in both families best long-term political interests for Beshear to help Grimes.

On Tuesday in Louisville, Beshear — in his first public comments since Grimes announced her candidacy — offered an olive branch.

“We ran against each other it seems like in the last century, which it was, and i don’t have any kind of hard feelings at all, and I think Alison is going to be a good candidate,” Beshear said.

Beshear went on to say he will help Grimes do whatever it takes to defeat McConnell, who beat Beshear in the 1996 race for U.S. Senate.

Beshear’s son Andy Beshear is a Louisville lawyer contemplating a run for attorney general in 2015.

That’s a position for which Grimes was mentioned as a potential candidate before she announced for Senate. Therefore, that might give the Beshears an extra incentive to see that Grimes does get a new job in Washington next year.

However, Beshear brushed away a question about that at the news conference Tuesday afternoon in Louisville.


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