From the Vault: 27 years ago this month, former Gov. Brown jumped in Senate race

03/22/2011 08:16 AM

In the days when primary election campaigns seemed much shorter, former Democratic Gov. John Y. Brown Jr. announced 27 years ago last week that he would run for U.S. Senate against incumbent Sen. Walter Dee Huddleston.

Brown, only a few months removed from the governor’s mansion, jumped in the race in March 1984 declaring that he didn’t “feel like I really have an opponent” because Huddleston had “sat in the back rows and on the sidelines.”

He made the announcement with his celebrity wife, Phyllis George Brown.

The Browns, who divorced in 1998, are the subject of this week’s “From the Vault” segment, which originally aired Friday on Pure Politics.

Brown dropped out of the Senate race in late April — just six weeks after getting in — and about a month before the primary election. He cited health reasons.

Huddleston went on to lose the Senate race in the fall to Republican Mitch McConnell, then the Jefferson County judge executive. McConnell has since become the longest serving U.S. Senator in Kentucky history and is now the Republican U.S. Senate leader.

- Ryan Alessi

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