Kenny Colston's report on Kentucky's 2014 U.S. Senate race
Senator Mitch McConnell's next election is a year and a half away, and he doesn't have a serious opponent. But this hasn't stopped him from amassing significant money and personnel for his re-election.
Every week, new field directors, political staff and fundraisers join the effort to re-elect McConnell. But while they have the same goal, they don't have the same boss. Some of the staffers work for McConnell's campaign. Others are paid by the Republican Party of Kentucky, while some answer to various SuperPACs.
Scott Jennings is in that last category. He's a longtime political operative who has worked on two presidential campaigns and for McConnell in the past. This year, he's working with the newly-formed Kentuckians for Strong Leadership and the Kentucky Opportunity Coalition, which has just begun running ads supporting conservative ideas.
Jennings controls those organizations from an East Louisville office, which he shares with the PR firm he founded this year.
Jennings says conservative interest in the race has picked up now because supporters respect the role McConnell has played in blocking President Barack Obama's agenda.
Both Democrats and Republicans in Kentucky are focusing on a special state House election, which could be the only race this year. The special election for the 56th House District will likely place added pressure on both parties to come through with a victory.
Right now, Democrats have a five seat majority over Republicans in the state house. But if GOP nominee Lyen Crews can defeat Democrat James Kay on June 25, that will shrink the margin to four seats.
Republican Party of Kentucky chairman Steve Robertson says the 56th special election is Round 2 in a multi-year fight for the state house between his party and the Kentucky Democratic Party.
"Let's be realistic this election is going to be a big priority for both parties,” says Roberston.
The race could also be the first test of Super PAC might, as both Democratic and Republican Super PACs are been formed to influence state House races.