Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, a Republican, “has formed a Senate exploratory committee to run for Jim Bunning’s Senate seat — a move that Kentucky GOP operatives say is a precursor to Bunning’s retirement,” Josh Kraushaar reports.
In a statement, Grayson said he doesn’t plan on running against Bunning, and is merely making preparations to run in case Bunning does not run for a third term.
“I have formed an exploratory committee to allow me to formally raise and spend funds as I seek support for a bid for U.S. Senate,” Grayson said in a statement.
“I have no plans to run against Senator Bunning. This exploratory committee will allow me to travel the Commonwealth, meet with potential supporters and lay the foundation for a campaign.”
Mr. Grayson has “tapped Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s pollster Jan von Lohuizen to handle polling for his exploratory committee — a sign that McConnell has given the green light for Grayson to run.”
"Trey did this with Bunning’s blessing," said van Lohuizen.
Earlier this week, Grayson flew to Washington to meet with Bunning and tell him of his plans to form the exploratory committee, according to a Kentucky-based GOP operative. The operative said it’s a clear sign that Bunning does not plan to run for another term.