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Owen Fuels Speculation With Swipe at McConnell

Louisville millionaire Charlie Owen (D) appears to be taking a serious look at challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) next year.

Owen, a three-time loser in Kentucky elections over the past dozen years, let the filing deadline for the 2007 gubernatorial race pass this week without getting into the race. Then, he gave the Lexington Herald-Leader an interview in which he roundly criticized the four-term Senator for his ties to President Bush and embattled Gov. Ernie Fletcher (R).

“What we in Kentucky should do is say enough of the man who has been the strongest supporter of the president, and a supporter of this governor — both of whom have put us on the wrong path,” Owen told the paper.

Owen stopped short of saying he would run for the Senate, but said, “We need serious people.”

Owen lost a Democratic House primary in 1994, a Democratic Senate primary in 1998 and a general election race as the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in 2003. Despite those defeats, the cable TV and real estate executive is seen as wealthy enough to self-fund a vigorous Senate campaign.

— Josh Kurtz

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