A Politico profile of Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell's reelection campaign describes the effort as using a "scorched earth" policy against any potential challengers.
McConnell has already aired $200,000 in TV and radio ads and has approached state Republican lawmakers in the state in an effort to "lock down" support in his party. The U.S. Senate Minority Leader could potentially face a primary challenge from the right, in addition to a potentially well-funded Democratic opponent in the general election.
With actress Ashley Judd announcing this week that she will not challenge McConnell, many political observers will now renew their focus on the possible Senate candidacy of Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.
The key issue for a new Louisville-based political action committee is candidates' use of reproductive rights as a campaign issue.
Reproductive Rights for Kentucky PAC was born from the recent controversy when University of Louisville Hospital attempted to merge with Denver-based Catholic Health Initiatives. Critics of the merger raised concerns about CHI's adherence to Catholic religious directives—that certain reproductive health practices, such as tubal litigations, wouldn't be permitted at University Hospital.
The new PAC is chaired by Honi Goldman, a Louisville media relations executive and a critic of the CHI-University Hospital merger. (CHI and University entered into a partnership last year.)
Goldman said the group will support candidates who realized there are bigger issues to deal with than reproductive ones.
Democrat Crit Luallen is reaching out to the United Mine Workers of America more than two years ahead of a potential gubernatorial bid in 2015.
Luallen, a former two-term state auditor, talked to UMWA members in Lexington on Thursday about her support for organized labor and for coal mining.
Union members gave a not-so-subtle hint about their early gubernatorial favorite by inviting Luallen to attend the Lexington meeting. She was the only one of a large field of potential candidates invited.
Luallen, who served as a senior aide to former Gov. Paul Patton, has made no secret of her interest in running in 2015. Reaching out to miners is a crucial first step in a major coal-producing state like Kentucky.