Put Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes on Your Political Radar Before the Senate Midterm Elections

Why should you memorize the name Alison Lundergan Grimes? (It's quite a mouthful, after all.) Kentucky Secretary of State Grimes announced Monday that she’s challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R), giving Democrats their top recruit in the Kentucky race.

“I’m here today to tell you that I have met with my supporters, we have had a great conversation and determined and decided that we can next make the best move, the best difference in the Commonwealth of Kentucky by running for the U.S. Senate,” she said at a news conference Monday afternoon.

Politico's calling Grimes' decision to run a boon for the Democrats for their ambitions to defeat McConnell. Why's that? She's extremely well-connected, with close ties to the Clintons via her father Jerry Lundergan, and will be able to tap into an extensive network during the campaign. She's also thorough and intelligent. Grimes has been weighing a Senate run since March, when Ashley Judd announced she would not run, but did not announce her decision until today, because she wanted to do due diligence. Smart lady.

What does McConnell have to say about her run? “Accepting the invitation from countless Washington liberals to become President Obama’s Kentucky candidate was a courageous decision by Alison Lundergan Grimes, and I look forward to a respectful exchange of ideas,” he said. “The next 16 months will provide a great opportunity for Kentuckians to contrast a liberal agenda that promotes a war on coal families and government rationed health care with someone who works everyday to protect Kentuckians from those bad ideas.”

For her part, Grimes said the ads against her are a sign of McConnell’s “fear” of losing power. “I was an underdog, and I’m no stranger to being an underdog,” she said. “His ads are based out of fear of losing his 30-year grip on power.”

Here's hoping he does.