Amid legal wranglings over mailings in eastern Ky., Grimes barnstorms western Ky.

11/02/2014 02:31 PM

MURRAY – Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes denounced Republican mailers using the heading “Election Violation Notice” as a bullying tactic as she sought to whip up votes during her final two-day swing through much of western Kentucky.

Grimes told the more than 75 people who squeezed into the Hungry Bear pancake house in Murray Sunday morning that the race is now in their hands. Western Kentucky voters have gotten used to that responsibility in recent years as they helped give Bill Clinton Kentucky’s electoral college votes in 1992 and 1996 but, ever since, collectively have leaned toward Republicans in presidential, U.S. Senate and the 1st congressional district races.

Grimes’ final campaign push comes as her U.S. Senate campaign goes to Franklin Circuit Court Monday for a hearing to seek an injunction against the Republican Party of Kentucky for the format of the notice, which Grimes’ campaign has said could suppress voter turnout.

The GOP mailers , which are in the format of an official notice, accuse Grimes of “fraudulent information that is being deliberately spread.” It refers to statements in Grimes’ ads, which media factcheckers including the Washington Post, have criticized, such as a claim that U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell didn’t fight to save an eastern Kentucky coal-fired power plant.

Grimes said Sunday that she stands by her messages as part of her call for change. And she told the crowd that McConnell can’t “bully people away from the ballot box.”

Republican Party of Kentucky spokeswoman Kelsey Cooper said in a statement that Grimes’ outrage rings hollow.

“Alison Lundergan Grimes spent hundreds of thousands of dollars smearing Mitch McConnell and his wife but she’s upset about a mailer that holds her accountable for her blatant falsehoods,” Cooper said.

As Pure Politics’ Nick Storm reported Friday, McConnell’s campaign has taken issue with a Democratic mailer and is considering taking its own legal recourse. The Democratic Party mailer shows an African American family and says “Mitch McConnell is targeting our community.”

Grimes spokeswoman Charly Norton said the campaign is aware of mailers going to voters in Floyd, Leslie, Perry, Boyd and Carter counties — all eastern Kentucky counties where Grimes and McConnell have clashed over who supports the coal industry more.

Grimes spent much of her Sunday in western Kentucky as she went from Murray to Cadiz, Hopkinsville, Madisonville and Henderson before making stops in Elizabethtown and Lebanon. She will return to the far western part of the state for a rally in Paducah Monday afternoon.

Western Kentucky has increasingly gone for Republicans in federal elections. In 2004, for instance, Democrat Daniel Mongiardo was leading Republican U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning for much of Election Night until the returns from the western part of the state, which is Central Standard Time, began rolling in.

Grimes said the region is essential to her chances on Tuesday:


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