Democrat Ben Chandler, the former KY Atty. Gen., loser of the 2003 KY Governors race and current candidate for DEMs in the must-win KY-6th Congressional district special election, has shown pretty incredible grassroots fundraising ability over the past month.
Fueled by Democrats craving a special election win in "Bush Territory" and Chandler's unprecedented outreach to the blogger community by a Congressional candidate, he has pulled in an impressive haul, apparently much more than even his campaign expected. This press release
from the Chandler campaign tells the tale.
A win in this special election race is truly critical. It's critical for Kentucky's slumbering Democratic party, wounded after a round of stinging election losses, and critical for every Democratic wanting to shoot a warning shot across the bow of the Bush-Rove political machine in advance of November 2004.
Chandler's opponent, St. Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr, is a candidate hand-picked by the (US Sen) Mitch McConnell political machine in Kentucky. McConnell's extreme ego and brazen use of raw political power to advance his agenda and power base, propelled his fav, Kerr, to the coronation...err, nomination. Other wresting a House seat from the GOP, serving McConnell a hard-core loss here would certainly be one sweet victory for Kentucky and national Democrats.
Also, another interesting note about this race, with a bit of historical perspective. Back in May of 1994, there was another special Congressional election in Kentucky. In late March of that year, US Rep. William Natcher (D-KY2), the much revered statesman and long-serving Congressman, died in office. Before passing, he had amassed an amazing legislative career in the US Congress. In fact, he currently holds the record for the most consecutive roll call votes, by far. He never missed a single vote during his 40 years in Congress...even insisting that he be wheeled into the House chamber on a gurney, in order to vote, shortly before he died. After his passing, the traditionally Democratic 2nd district became a testing grounds for the coming "Republican Revolution", which was to take place the following November. Republican Ron Lewis, Baptist minister and Christian Bookstore owner (hand-picked by Newt Gingrich for the race), beat long-time legislator, and presumed front-runner, Democrat Joe Prather in a stunning upset. After the bloodbath which occurred the following November, this single race was seen as the one that started it all for the Republicans...
So, ten years later, let us all hope that a Chandler win in another small, unassuming Kentucky congressional district special election will signal the beginning of a new Democratic revolution, powered by the grassroots, set to sweep the nation this fall.
Chandler is on top in the polls and the Republicans are worried, big time. This is not a time for complacency! Not only is Republican US House Speaker Dennis Hastert blackmailing KY voters, but the GOP already has another candidate lined up in the event that Kerr falls. Make no mistake, the GOP will stop at nothing to keep this seat in their hands... Let's help Chandler win this one!!!