Furthering a Democratic Party divide, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway has endorsed Lexington attorney Alison Lundergan Grimes in the primary contest for Secretary of State.
Grimes is running against incumbent Elaine Walker, who was appointed by Governor Steve Beshear earlier this year to serve the final 11 months of former Secretary of State Trey Grayson’s term.
Despite suggestions by Grayson and others against the choice, Beshear appointed Walker, the former mayor of Bowling Green, who quickly said she was running to retain the seat.
When Grimes announced her candidacy, political observers pointed to the ongoing rivalry between Beshear and Grimes’ father, former state Democratic Party Chairman Jerry Lundergan, as the backdrop of the campaign.
Beshear has downplayed the feud. but the Conway endorsement marks a key Democrat publicly parting with his pick. While keeping her at arm’s length, Walker made it clear when she told cn|2 Pure Politics in March that Beshear was helping her raise campaign money for the race.
Despite the governor’s help, Grimes has outpaced Walker in fundraising by a 3-to-1 margin. In the first quarter financial reports, Grimes reported an impressive $303,283 in contributions compared to $100,420 for Walker.
The Grimes campaign is expected to announce another key endorsement next week.