He's In: Lexington Mayor Jim Gray Enters U.S. Senate Race (Updated)
Lexington Mayor Jim Gray's name will be on the ballot in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate race. Today was the deadline to file and Gray was in Frankfort turning in the paperwork this morning.
If he wins the primary, Gray will run for Senator Rand Paul's current seat. His competition in the Democratic Primary are Jeff Kender, Tom Recktenwald, and Grant T Short.
The Republican Party candidates are James Gould and Stephen Howard Slaughter. Incumbent Rand Paul is participating in the Republican Caucus for President but is simultaneously running for re-election to the Senate.
An Uphill Climb?
Gray's entry into the U.S. Senate race won't change the political calculus in Kentucky's House elections this fall as Democrats look to maintain their grip on an increasingly endangered majority... that's the assessment of Speaker Greg Stumbo.
Speaking with reporters Tuesday, the Prestonsburg Democrat offered a complimentary, if slightly tepid, endorsement for the newly-minted congressional hopeful. Quizzed on Gray's chances, the speaker suggested much will hinge on the mayor's ability to make inroads in areas beyond the state's urban centers - and what names are at the top of the ballot.
"I haven't looked at any of the polling, but I think a lot of it depends upon who's going to be the Democratic nominee for president and who's going to be the Republican nominee for president. I think a lot of that is in flux right now and who knows what will happen come November," Stumbo responded.
Gray says he's running to break a cycle of gridlock in Washington and has promised to bring his experience in business and local government to bear on problems important to Kentuckians. Despite the mayor's official "nonpartisan" status, GOP officials predict Gray, a registered Democrat, will be linked to President Obama's agenda, a tactic which has proved effective in sinking the party's candidates in recent statewide and national elections.