In the crowd were a dozen miners from the Prestonsburg area. One, Larry Mead, a registered Democrat, said Grimes can persuade eastern Kentucky miners that she supports coal.
Indeed, Grimes said in her speech that she will never forget Kentucky’s miners or Kentucky families.
Mead said Grimes “is someone who’s going to work with the president (on coal issues). Working against him sure hasn’t worked.”
But Mead conceded Grimes still has some work to do to persuade all the miners in southeastern Kentucky that a Democrat might work on their behalf in Washington.
Former Gov. Paul Patton, a staunch coal supporter, said Grimes “will do good on coal. People will base their decision on facts and not on the rhetoric of the other side.”
Marcus Woodward, former chairman of the Boyd County Democratic Party, said Grimes is young, energetic and articulate, and can “offer her solutions which will involve working with people (McConnell) won’t work with.”
Like Clinton, Woodward said it will be a long, hard campaign to unseat McConnell, but he thinks Grimes can do it.
Given Tuesday’s event, she’s off to a better second start than her July 1 announcement. Longtime Democratic activist Terry McBrayer said it was the largest announcement crowd he’d ever seen.
But Grimes has yet to name a campaign chair. Tuesday, campaign spokeswoman Charly Norton said one has been hired but she wouldn’t name the person, however, saying the campaign planned to make a major staffing announcement after the Fancy Farm Picnic this weekend.
Norton said the campaign chair is from Kentucky. Asked if that person might be someone already publicly working with the campaign, she said, “Potentially.”