LEXINGTON, Ky, (WKYT) - In her strongest words yet, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes hinted that she's considering a run for Kentucky's governor mansion that could pit her in a battle against Gov. Matt Bevin.
"I am not going to mislead you. There is encouragement there to pursue a governor's race," Grimes told WKYT's Bill Bryant on Thursday during a taping for "Kentucky Newsmakers." "I am listening to the encouragement that folks are giving and most importantly concerns that they have."
Grimes, a Democrat, can't run for re-election as secretary of state in 2019 because of term limits.
Grimes and fellow Democrat Attorney General Andy Beshear have clashed with first term Republican Gov. Matt Bevin, who hasn't indicated yet whether he would seek re-election.
"When Frankfort looks like Washington, people aren't happy," Grimes said while criticizing Bevin calling protesting teachers upset over pension reform thugs and the Republican-controlled legislature's decision to expand the sales tax to services beginning July 1 as part of budget reform.
In 2011, Grimes made her first step into politics by entering the race to replace former Secretary of State Trey Grayson. She went on to beat then-Gov. Steve Beshear's appointee to finish Grayson's term in the Democratic primary and then soundly beat the Republican businessman Bill Johnson in the general election that focused highly on requiring photo IDs in order to vote.
Grimes was leading in some polls when she ran for U.S. Senate in 2014, but she lost by 16 percent against Senate Majority Leader Mitchell McConnell. Kentucky voters would re-elect her to secretary of state in 2015 with 51 percent of the vote.
Before politics, Grimes was a Lexington attorney.
The interview with her discussing a potential run for governor and Tuesday's primary election airs at 6 a.m. Sunday on WKYT and repeats at 10 a.m. on The CW Lexington.