By Jack Brammer
FRANKFORT — With Gov. Steve Beshear and several former Democratic governors at her side, Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes officially filed Thursday for the U.S. Senate held by Republican Mitch McConnell since 1985.
Grimes, Kentucky’s secretary of state, filed her candidacy papers in her Capitol office with a large group of supporters looking on.
Signing her papers were Beshear and former Democratic Govs. Paul Patton, Brereton Jones, Martha Layne Collins, John Y. Brown Jr., Julian Carroll and Wendell Ford.
All were present Thursday in the Capitol except Jones and Ford.
Also signing Grimes’ candidacy papers were Attorney General Jack Conway, Auditor Adam Edelen, Treasurer Todd Hollenbach, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville and her maternal grandmother, Elsie Case, of Maysville.
Grimes, 35, said she was honored by the support and expects to become the first woman from Kentucky to be elected to the U.S. Senate.
She briefly mentioned McConnell, referring to him as an obstructionist and chiding him for not pushing an increase in the minimum wage.
McConnell, 71, filed earlier this week without any fanfare for re-election to the post he has held since Jan. 1985. He was elected Senate Republican leader in 2007.
Signing McConnell’s candidacy papers were U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Bowling Green, and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, the state’s only GOP constitutional officer.
Grimes answered a few questions from reporters at her filing but declined to say specifically if she would endorse Harry Reid of Nevada as Senate majority leader.