Kentucky: Ex-Sen. Ford Weighs In on Democratic Primary

Posted May 10, 2010 at 6:12pm

Former Sen. Wendell Ford (D) on Monday endorsed Jack Conway (D) for the Senate seat he used to hold.

Ford, who served in the Senate for 24 years and was also governor of Kentucky in the early 1970s, remains a popular figure in Kentucky Democratic circles.

Ford’s decision to wade into the hotly contested primary is a clear indication that Kentucky’s Democratic establishment wants Conway to win.

Gov. Steve Beshear endorsed Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo last spring, but other top Kentucky Democrats are in Conway’s corner. Among them: state Speaker Greg Stumbo, state Auditor Crit Luallen and Reps. Ben Chandler and John Yarmuth.

Ford’s endorsement could help strengthen Conway’s support in the western part of the state and could also make a strong impression with party activists who still view the former Senator as a hero in state politics.

The leading Republican candidates are Secretary of State Trey Grayson and anti-tax activist Rand Paul. Both party primaries will be May 18.