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Kentucky: Democrat Blowing His Horne Versus McConnell

Andrew Horne (D), a retired Marine Corp lieutenant colonel and unsuccessful Congressional candidate in 2006, announced late last week that he will challenge Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) in 2008.

Horne’s decision to get in the race came quickly on the heels of state Auditor Crit Luallen’s (D) announcement earlier this month that she would not seek the Democratic nomination to face McConnell, who has long been the face of Kentucky’s Republican Party.

All summer and fall, national Democrats and liberal interest groups spent tens of thousands of dollars waging a vigorous anti-McConnell TV campaign hoping to weaken the Minority Leader even before any challenger formally entered the race.

In his announcement statement, Horne, who served in the Iraq War and in Operation Desert Storm, accused McConnell and the Bush administration of catering to the wealthy, failing to lead the country on immigration reform and for mismanaging the current campaign in Iraq.

“Mitch McConnell carries George Bush’s water on Iraq; I carried a rifle in Iraq,” Horne said.

As a first-time candidate, Horne was a darling of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in the 2006 cycle before he lost his primary race to now-Rep. John Yarmuth (D) in the 3rd district. In 2008, he may not have the Senate primary field to himself.

— John McArdle

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