Stumbo getting closer to Senate run

John O'Brien Oct. 16, 2007, 3:55pm


FRANKFORT, Ky. - Facing a possible ethics probe, Kentucky Attorney General Greg Stumbo says he is still encouraged by his progress toward finding a new job.

On Monday, the Democrat told Ryan Alessi of the Lexington Herald-Leader that he has already raised $100,000 for a possible run at the U.S. Senate next year against Mitch McConnell.

While campaigning for Steve Beshear, a Democratic candidate for Governor, Stumbo said he has been making requests for his own possible campaign. Earlier this year, Beshear defeated Bruce Lunsford in the primary election, with Stumbo running for Lieutenant Governor with Lunsford.

"Nobody's turned me down yet. That's kind of a breath of fresh air," he said. "When I was calling for Bruce Lunsford's and my campaign, I was getting cussed out every other phone call. So it's been fun again."

Alessi also wrote that McConnell has already raised more than $9 million for his re-election campaign, a number that does trouble Stumbo.

"He could have $90 million but he can't change people's minds about the war in Iraq and SCHIP and things like that," Stumbo said.

Thursday, Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate is expected to rule on the future of the ethics probe into Stumbo's investigation into the hiring practices of Gov. Ernie Fletcher.

Stumbo looked into claims that Fletcher gave state jobs to political supporters, leading to Fletcher's indictment on three misdemeanor charges. The charges were later dropped.

The ethics commission received a complaint that Stumbo began the investigation to further his political agenda, which at the time was Lunsford's campaign.

Stumbo is trying to block the probe, saying the complaint was of the informal, anonymous type that the commission is barred from acting on.

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