Politics & Government

Democrat Rocky Adkins says he won’t decide on U.S. Senate run until November

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rocky Adkins on rural Kentucky

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rocky Adkins talks about why he's courting rural Kentuckians in his campaign during Hillbilly Days in Pikeville.
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Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rocky Adkins talks about why he's courting rural Kentuckians in his campaign during Hillbilly Days in Pikeville.

Kentucky House Democratic Leader Rocky Adkins said Thursday he still is weighing a possible bid for the U.S. Senate next year but does not expect to make a decision until after the Nov. 5 elections for governor and other state constitutional offices.

“I’m getting a lot of encouragement across the state” to run, Adkins told reporters before attending the 56th annual Kentucky Farm Bureau Country Ham Breakfast at the State Fair.

Adkins, of Sandy Hook, finished in second place last May in the Democratic primary election for governor, losing to Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear. He has been a member of the state House since 1987.

Adkins said he has been focusing on the House Democratic caucus but running for the U.S. Senate in 2020 is “still an option I’m keeping on the table.”

Asked if that would be too late to raise the necessary funds to run against the well-heeled Republican incumbent, Mitch McConnell, Adkins said “fundraising is always a concern,” adding that he has shown that he can raise campaign funds.

He said his decision will not depend on which other candidates might enter the race. Democrat Amy McGrath, who lost a bid for U.S. Congress last year to GOP incumbent Andy Barr, already has entered the race and Kentucky Sports Radio co-founder Matt Jones is expected to announce in coming weeks if he will run.

A Beshear victory in November over Republican incumbent Matt Bevin certainly would help Democrats capture the U.S. Senate seat and regain control of the state House next year, Adkins said.

He said he is impressed with Beshear’s “strong, grassroots” campaign organization “and what he has done in rural Kentucky.”

“He has an excellent chance to win in November,” said Adkins.

Former state Rep. C. Wesley Morgan, R-Richmond, said before the breakfast that McConnell is taking Wesley’s primary challenge against him for granted. “He shouldn’t do that,” said Morgan.

Morgan claimed that mainstream media are ignoring his campaign, “but I’m getting my message out on social media.”

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