Kentucky-based Super PAC posts petitions to draft conservative and liberal challengers to McConnell

01/09/2013 03:21 PM

Progress Kentucky, a Kentucky based Super PAC, launched an online campaign on Wednesday to draft challengers to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, from big-name Democrats to tea party conservatives.

The group’s leaders said in a statement that by launching online petitions, they are giving challengers a chance to see how they would fare against Kentucky’s senior Senator. McConnell has more than $7 million in his campaign war chest and so far has only drawn one challenger: Democrat Ed Marksberry who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2010.

Progress Kentucky has launched more than twenty petitions to “draft” possible challengers who span the political spectrum. Each petition asks signers to endorse their chosen candidate.

The Democratic list of potential candidates include:

  • Actress Ashley Judd
  • Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes
  • State Sen. Dennis Parrett of Elizabethtown
  • Silas House, the Eastern Kentucky author
  • Mathew Barzun, fundraiser for President Barack Obama
  • Teri Blanton, the environmentalist
  • Steve Wilson, the Louisville developer
  • Andrew Horne, a Louisville lawyer and retired lieutenant colonel who ran for Congress in 2006.

It also includes Democrats who have said they don’t plan to run for Senate:

  • 3rd District Congressman John Yarmuth of Louisville
  • Attorney General Jack Conway
  • State Auditor Adam Edelen
  • Crit Luallen, the former state auditor
  • Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer

Among the tea party Republicans the group suggests:

  • Former gubernatorial candidate Phil Moffett
  • New Congressman Thomas Massie of Northern Kentucky’s 4th District
  • Larry Hausman, a co-founder of the Louisville tea party
  • David Adams, a tea party activist who ran Rand Paul’s 2010 U.S. Senate primary run and has clashed with McConnell in the past

And the site even mentioned some high-profile Kentuckians who have been allies of McConnell’s, including the three other Republican congressmen and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, who received advice from McConnell throughout Comer’s 2011 run for that office.

Even former Senate President David Williams and current Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer of Georgetown — another McConnell supporter — made the group’s petition list.

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm joined cn|2 in December 2011 as a reporter for Pure Politics. Throughout his career, Nick has covered several big political stories up close, including interviewing President Barack Obama on the campaign trail back in 2008. Nick says he loves being at the forefront of Kentucky politics and working with the brightest journalists in the commonwealth. Follow Nick on Twitter @Nick_Storm. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or



  • viewer wrote on January 09, 2013 06:18 PM :

    Does anyone think our founding fathers thought that we should have a career politican ??? We got mitch , hal, and until now ben chandler. And poor oh Andy Barr hates government waste so much , he hasnt cashed a check that wasnt from the gov or trying to get in the gov since leaving law school. Wake up Ky, our checking account isnt keeping up with theirs. They are getting rich , and we are in the bottom 5 in the nation. Ask for more with your vote.

  • viewer wrote on January 09, 2013 06:51 PM :

    If you are a big land owner/ farmer , would you want your work force/ laborers to go get educated ? Answer is no. They are afraid that you will leave them to give your family a better life and maybe insurance. If they can keep you dumb, they own you. If you get knowledge you will see what capitalism runs on.

    Here is what is wrong with the way Kentucky runs now… Our labor force is based on manual labor- farming, coal, etc. Our bodies wear out sooner or later doing hard labor. Nothing wrong with hard labor, but the reality is that eventually the body will need medical care. These same people that want the labor, say they can’t afford to pay for insurance; but they are also against Obamacare. So, we bring in foreign labor and send them back home to their countries broke and crippled, and we wipe our hands clean. We say that Americans are too lazy to work. I don’t think that anyone is too lazy to work. I just think that people are smart enough to know that when their bodies break down, there will be nobody there to help heal them.

  • Felix wrote on January 09, 2013 09:38 PM :

    Massie, Comer or Moffett could beat mitch in a primary with zero money. They have name id and large conservative followings. Maybe Thayer too?

  • Scott wrote on January 11, 2013 10:13 AM :

    Larry’s a great guy, but he was not a co-founder of the Louisville Tea Party. That group was started by Wendy Caswell, a Democrat.

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