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Chandler, Yarmuth Get Behind Conway

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway (D) officially kicked off his Senate campaign Monday by showcasing the support of several high-profile party leaders — including the Bluegrass State’s two Democratic Members. Joining Conway for his announcement Monday afternoon at the Muhammad Ali Center in downtown Louisville were Kentucky Democratic Reps. Ben Chandler and John Yarmuth. Also at the event were state Speaker Greg Stumbo (D), state Auditor Crit Luallen (D) and Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson (D). The support of party leaders is significant because Conway faces a primary race against Kentucky Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo, who has been endorsed by Gov. Steve Beshear. The winner of the primary is slated to face off against Sen. Jim Bunning (R), who is widely viewed as the most endangered Senator up for re-election in 2010. “I am honored and humbled that these leaders of the Kentucky Democratic Party are supporting my race for Senate,— Conway said, according to a release from his campaign. “I know that this race won’t be easy, but I believe with their support we can return Wendell Ford’s [D] Senate seat to the people for whom he fought.—Chandler introduced Conway at the event and vowed to campaign hard to help him win the Senate seat. “I’m looking forward to running all around this state for Jack Conway, and we’re going to win this race,— Chandler said. Chandler and Luallen had both been mentioned in recent months as possible Senate candidates, but in the past few weeks it became increasingly obvious that Conway was going to be the one to throw his hat into the ring. Mongiardo, then a state Senator, came close to defeating Bunning in a late-breaking contest in 2004. He announced in late January that he would take another shot at Bunning next year.In a statement, a Mongiardo spokeswoman did not mention Conway by name but touted the fact that the lieutenant governor supported Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential primary.“Endorsed by Governor Beshear, Daniel Mongiardo is the only candidate in this race to publicly support Barack Obama in the Democratic Primary and the only candidate with an actual record of fighting for working families, better health care and jobs,— Mongiardo spokeswoman Kim Geveden said.

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