Iraq War Veteran Horne Challenges Kentucky Senator McConnell

NKY Courier-Journal

December 13, 2007 – Iraq War veteran Andrew Horne announced this morning that he will seek the Democratic nomination to challenge U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in next year’s election.

Horne, who described McConnell as the problem rather than part of the solution, is the biggest-name Democrat so far to enter the race.

Better-known Democrats with statewide followings — including state Auditor Crit Luallen and 6th District Rep. Ben Chandler of Versailles — have decided not to try to take on McConnell, a four-term incumbent and the most powerful Republican on Capitol Hill.

Horne ran for the 3rd District congressional seat last year and lost convincingly in the Democratic primary to John Yarmuth. The only other Democrats now in the race are political neophyte Michael Cassaro and perennial candidate David Lynn Williams.

Others, however, are still considering whether to run.

Attorney General Greg Stumbo said Tuesday that he is hoping to meet soon with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to discuss a possible run. And Louisville businessman Greg Fischer is expected to make a decision soon.

Businessmen Bruce Lunsford and Charlie Owen, who could self-fund campaigns against McConnell, also have been mentioned as possible Democratic challengers.

In a press release announcing his decision, Horne, a lawyer and a retired Marine Corps lieutenant colonel, blamed McConnell for leading the country astray.

“Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, symbolizes everything wrong with Washington. He bows to big business, practices the worst kind of politics and doesn’t take a stand when faced with tough issues,” Horne said.

“Simply put: Mitch McConnell carries George Bush’s water on Iraq; I carried a rifle in Iraq” he added.

He criticized McConnell for what he called the “ill-conceived” war in Iraq and for not solving the nation’s health care crisis and obstructing legislation.

McConnell has raised $10 million for his re-election campaign.

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