FRANKFORT, Ky. - The first Democrat ready to challenge four-term U.S. Sen Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) signed up Tuesday, and possibly the most formidable will make a decision by next month.

Michael Cassaro, a 51-year-old doctor, announced he will run for the seat at a news conference, and current Attorney General Greg Stumbo told The Associated Press that he will decide by mid-December.

Last month, Stumbo said he was pleased with the feedback he'd received following the creation of an exploratory committee.

Democrat Jack Conway was recently voted in to the Attorney General's office. Stumbo had decided not to seek a second term, choosing instead to make an ultimately unsuccessful run at Lieutenant Governor.

The report says Stumbo would possibly take a job with new Gov. Steve Beshear's administration if offered one, and will do some polling in the next few weeks to see if the support is there for a Senate run.

"I think right now that my chances in the spring to get the nomination, no matter who's in the field, are exceptionally good," Stumbo said.

He also criticized recently elected State Auditor Crit Luallen, saying that she should not take an oath to her office then file for another weeks later.

In his last year as attorney general, Stumbo sued Purdue Pharma over its marketing of the prescription painkiller OxyContin and Marathon Oil for alleged price-gouging of gasoline after hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

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