Could Democrats' failure to strongly challenge McConnell fuel GOP takeover of state House?

01/18/2013 05:58 PM

Without much fanfare, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell opened his campaign headquarters this month in an office building overlooking Louisville’s Watterson Expressway.

His campaign manager, Jesse Benton, has begun laying the groundwork for the most well-funded, presidential-like statewide race Kentucky has ever seen. McConnell is expected to report his latest fundraising numbers next week but had more than $7 million on hand at the last quarter.

But so far no other Republicans have stepped up to challenge McConnell in a primary and only one Democrat has — Ed Marksberry, an Owensboro contractor who ran a limited and unsuccessful campaign for the 2nd Congressional District in 2010.

Benton said the campaign hasn’t given much thought to how to use McConnell’s extensive warchest if he doesn’t have a well-funded, strongly-backed opponent. But he said leftover money could fuel other Republican efforts in Kentucky. Watch the full report to see what he says:

Democrats currently control the state House with 55 seats to 44 for Republicans with an open seat to be decided in a Feb. 12 special election. Republicans made a push in 2012 but fell short after Democrats out-spent them a successfully defended all but two of their incumbents.

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He is now pursuing an advanced degree in non-fiction writing from Murray State University and is a regular contributor to Pure Politics. Ryan has covered politics for more than 14 years, including seven years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Ryan can be reached at purepolitics@twcable.com or @mycn2 on Twitter.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.