FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Gov. Steve Beshear gave an early
endorsement Friday to his second-in-command for a seat in the U.S.
Beshear's endorsement of Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo came more than a year before the 2010 Democratic primary. Beshear said he believes his fellow Democrat can be the strong voice the state and country need in Washington at a time of economic challenge.
"Now, more than ever, we need strong representatives in Washington, D.C., to give voice to Kentucky priorities and values," Beshear said in a written statement Friday afternoon. "I believe that my lieutenant governor, Daniel Mongiardo, can be that voice and I endorse his candidacy for the United States Senate."
Mongiardo is among a handful of Democrats considering running for the seat now held by two-term Republican incumbent Jim Bunning. Attorney General Jack Conway, state Auditor Crit Luallen and U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler also have expressed interest.
Bunning, who has had lackluster campaign funding thus far, could
also face opposition in the Republican primary. State Senate President David Williams has been pondering a run and two other Republicans, Secretary of State Trey Grayson and Bowling Green eye surgeon Rand Paul, have said they would be interested if Bunning were to drop out.