Grimes campaign plans to put more emphasis on minimum wage increase

01/06/2014 11:39 AM

UPDATED: Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is refocusing her theme against 30-year incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell to put an even greater emphasis on her call for an increase the minimum wage.

That is clearly becoming a key strategy for Democrats in the 2014 election cycle.

While Grimes has framed much of her public remarks about McConnell around the need for “a change,” her campaign now is aiming to do more to highlight the minimum wage increase. She and other Democrats want to see that rate raised to $10.10 an hour from $7.25. Grimes has referenced the minimum wage in many of her speeches delivered since announcing her candidacy in July of 2013.

In a memo, the Grimes campaign cites 16 votes McConnell has cast against raising the minimum wage. The New Republic called minimum wage “the issue that could bring down McConnell” in August.

Senator McConnell’s campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore sought to tie Grimes’ focus on minimum wage to President Obama in a statement sent to Pure Politics.

“When you believe the government is the solution to America’s economic problems, as Alison Lundergan Grimes and Barack Obama do, then you’re forced to talk about things like minimum wage instead of the maximum potential for Kentucky families,” Moore said.

“It’s also clear that Ms. Grimes is determined to make the central focus of her campaign whatever Harry Reid, President Obama and the rest of her liberal donors want it to be, as she supports their other job crushing policies like tax hikes, the war on coal and Obamacare. Sen. McConnell is the only candidate in this race who is dedicated to the hardworking people of Kentucky and fighting for job creating policies.”

Grimes still plans to play up women’s issues, including fair pay, according to the Grimes memo.

McConnell has also made an effort to reach out to women and launched Women for Team Mitch in August.

However, Grimes campaign has been quick to highlight McConnell’s votes against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and votes against the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Over the next few days Grimes campaign plans on highlighting other differences between the Grimes and McConnell including: coal miners, the federal government shutdown, farmers and families.

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or


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