Engaged in a tight battle for the Senate seat he has held for nearly thirty years, U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell paid a visit to Leitchfield on Saturday night to speak at the annual Linclon Day festivities at Grayson County High School.
The Senate’s Minority Leader since 2007, McConnell is facing Republican opposition from Louisville businessman Matt Bevin in the May primary. It’s Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, though, who is on the attack against McConnell; with polls showing Kentucky’s sitting Secretary of State having a slight advantage over the seventh-most senior Senator in Congress in a possible November general election showdown.
McConnell has failed to gain at least 52.0 percent of the vote in a senatorial election only once in his 30 year career, winning 49.9 percent of the votes in his first Senate run in 1984 (against then-incumbent Walter Dee Huddleston). With Grimes, who is originally from Maysville, KY, aggressively questioning McConnell’s record in the Senate, he has responded by hitting the campaign trail, visiting Kentucky counties vital to his political health.
“Well it’s great to get out and meet the people of Kentucky; I’ve been coming to Grayson County for a long time” McConnell told K105 on Saturday night. “I’ve carried the county five times and expect to carry it again this year, and see a lot of old friends. So it’s wonderful to interact with people and catch up on what’s going on here in Grayson County.”
One key issue here in Kentucky is the importance farmers hold in Washington, and Grimes has consistently brought into question what McConnell has done for farmers in Kentucky during his time in the Senate.
“Well, I don’t think many Kentucky farmers would think that (I’ve ignored them during my time in the Senate),” McConnell flatly stated. “You know, the tobacco buyout was my deal, the hemp legislation gives farmers a chance to have a new crop, and was something I put in the Farm Bill.”
But McConnell is quick to note that the tobacco buyout and hemp legislation is only the latest in his accomplishments regarding Kentucky’s farming community.
“I’ve been on the Agriculture Committee my entire time in the Senate, and won the Golden Plow award from the National Farm Bureau several times,” McConnell said. “I think it would be pretty hard to argue that McConnell has not had a career devoted to Kentucky agriculture.”
The 70-year old Senator then gave a rousing speech intended to inflame local Republicans to participate in “taking back America” in the November 2014 election. Noting that “election’s have consequences,” McConnell urged Grayson County Republicans to help him become the Senate Majority Leader by voting “one more time” for him in November.
The full text of Senator McConnell’s Saturday night speech can be found on the K105 web-site.