Grimes talks coal, Obamacare at stop in Prestonsburg

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes made a campaign stop in Eastern Kentucky Thursday night as she looks to become the state's next U.S. Senator.

Hoping to unseat Republican incumbent Sen. Mitch McConnell in the November general election, Grimes, a Democrat, unveiled what she called her "Kentucky Jobs Action Plan" to a crowd at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg.

"Eastern Kentucky has been forgotten by our senior senator, somebody who's been there 28 years," Grimes told WYMT in her only television interview of the evening. "He's given a lot of chatter to the people of this state, especially in the eastern region and they are ready and in need of a champion in Washington, D.C."

McConnell has said if Grimes is elected, she will be easily influenced by Senate President Harry Reid, a powerful Democrat who at times has been critical of the coal industry.

Grimes denied that charge.

"As those here in Eastern Kentucky know, I'm an independent voice and an independent thinker," she said. "I have made no commitments to anyone but the people of this state to be their voice."

Grimes also said she has concerns about President Obama's health care law.

"I will continue to make sure the concerns I have about the Affordable Care Act are taken to heart," Grimes said. "That, for instance, when Washington politicians make promises that if you like your doctor and you like your plan you can keep it, that we follow through with that."

Grimes on Thursday night unveiled her six-point Kentucky Jobs Action plan, saying her number one goal is "putting Kentuckians back to work."

McConnell's campaign released the following statement in response to Grimes' remarks in Prestonsburg:

"Alison Lundergan Grimes' entire campaign from the day she was recruited by Harry 'coal makes us sick' Reid has been supported by anti-coal activists who have shown nothing but disdain for Eastern Kentucky. Mitch McConnell is a tireless advocate for the region who fights every day to ensure that the same Washington liberals who are supporting Alison's candidacy aren't able to continue to prosecute their war on coal and the entire region."

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