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December 10, 2008

Bunning plans to run for re-election in 2010

From the Louisville Courier-Journal:

U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning reiterated yesterday that he plans to run for re-election in 2010 and said he has formed a steering committee to raise money for his campaign.

Bunning, R-Ky., made his comments in a conference call with reporters.

He has said repeatedly that he plans to seek another term, but his failure to raise much money so far has prompted speculation that he might ultimately decide not to make the race. Bunning's third-quarter campaign finance report showed him with $175,000 on hand.

He said yesterday that he did not raise money in Kentucky during the 2006 governor's race or this year, when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., won re-election. Bunning has said he expects the 2010 race to cost $10 million for both the Republican and Democratic nominees.

McConnell recently reported spending $19.2 million on his re-election campaign this year.

Bunning said he went to a White House social event Monday night, and people were coming up to him saying, "Jim, just call, just call, just call."

"They know how important it is to have a solid conservative voice in the U.S. Senate, and I intend to be that conservative," he said.

The strongest potential Democratic challenger against Bunning would be Rep. Ben Chandler, who has over $1.1 million in his campaign account.  Lieutenant governor Daniel Mongiardo, who narrowly lost to Bunning in 2004, would also be a leading contender.

Other potential Democratic candidates include: State Auditor Crit Luallen and Attorney General Jack Conway.