The divisions that played out in Tuesday’s gubernatorial primary may be festering, as backers of Gov. Ernie Fletcher (R) have launched an effort to draft former gubernatorial nominee Larry Forgy (R) to challenge Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) in a primary in 2008.Update: We should note that the Louisville liberal did not spend all of the past few weeks in Washington. He did make a point of taking a campaign trip to Nebraska to raise money for his fellow liberal Senator, Chuck Hagel, even after Hagel announced he may leave the Republican Party to run for President on a ticket with Michael Bloomberg!
The Draft Forgy website (draftforgy.blogspot.com) started posting last week and since has been updating regularly.
Though McConnell has been publicly neutral in the gubernatorial race, the blog and others have accused him of privately backing Northup.
“Mitch McConnell failed Kentucky’s conservatives by undermining Governor Ernie Fletcher and backing former Louisville Rep. Anne Northup,” one blog post read. “Now his reelection numbers are well under 50 percent, and it’s time for the Republican Party to nominate a candidate who has a real chance to win in 2008. That candidate is Larry Forgy.”
Forgy, an attorney and the 1995 gubernatorial nominee, has been vocal in denouncing McConnell in recent weeks but has expressed little interest in returning to elective politics.
Update II: Readers of the excellent story in The Hill should note that Larry Forgy has indeed been clear that he will consider challenging the Mitch McConnell if he does not deliver for Governor Fletcher:
February 16, 2007: "People who dont come on board will be remembered in 2008," Forgy said.
April 21, 2007: "But he said afterword that about the only thing that could drag him back into elective politics is if he perceives McConnell and his close supporters are not enthusiastic for the GOP gubernatorial ticket this fall. It was not a threat… but it expressed the intensity of his feelings."