Alison Lundergan Grimes
|Alison Lundergan Grimes|
|76th Secretary of State of Kentucky|
January 2, 2012
|Preceded by||Elaine Walker|
|Born||Alison Case Lundergan
November 23, 1978
Maysville, Kentucky, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Andrew Grimes (2006–present)|
|Alma mater||Rhodes College
Alison Case Lundergan Grimes (born November 23, 1978) is an American attorney and Democratic politician who is the Secretary of State of Kentucky, having defeated incumbent Elaine Walker in the May 17, 2011 primary election and Republican Bill Johnson in the November 8, 2011 general election. On May 20, 2014, she won the Democratic Party primary to run for United States Senate in Kentucky.
Early life and education
Grimes was born in Maysville, Kentucky. She is the daughter of Charlotte (née Case) and Jerry Lundergan, a former Kentucky Democratic chairman and state representative. Grimes was the third of five children, all girls. As a child, Grimes knocked on doors on behalf of her father's political campaigns, and also drove voters to the polls on election day. Grimes grew up wanting to be a doctor, but changed majors in college after passing out while watching carpal tunnel surgery.
Grimes went to Lexington Catholic High School in Lexington, Kentucky, and then went on to graduate from Rhodes College in 2001. Grimes majored in political science, with a minor in history. Grimes is a member of the Chi Omega sorority, as well a student trustee and a member of student government. Grimes graduated cum laude from the Washington College of Law at American University in Washington, D.C. While at American, Grimes participated in public policy research for the National Kidney Foundation.
Prior to running for Secretary of State, Grimes was a practicing attorney in Lexington. She served as an associate at Stoll Keenon Ogden from 2004 to 2011, specializing in intellectual property and complex business litigation. Grimes credits a domestic abuse case she won as helping to inspire her to pursue a political career rather than attempting to become a partner at her firm.
Grimes served as president of the Fayette County Women Lawyers' Association, and was awarded the 2010 Outstanding Young Lawyer Award by the Fayette County Bar Association. She was also a precinct officer for the 75th Legislative District in Kentucky as well as a member of the 2008 Democratic National Committee rules committee.
Secretary of State
In 2010, Grimes announced her candidacy for the office of Secretary of State of Kentucky, left open by term limited incumbent Republican Trey Grayson.
When Grayson resigned to accept a position at the Harvard Institute of Politics, Governor Steve Beshear appointed Bowling Green Mayor Elaine Walker over Grimes to fill the rest of Grayson's term in office. Despite this, Grimes stayed in the race and defeated Walker by a double digit margin in the May primary.
Grimes faced Republican businessman and former Senate candidate Bill Johnson in the general election. A main aspect of the campaign was Grimes' opposition to Johnson's proposal to require photo IDs in order to vote. Grimes argued this would take away voting rights from the homeless among others. She also became well known through commercials that showed her elderly grandmothers. Grimes defeated Johnson with over 60% of the vote. She received a higher percentage of the vote than any other Kentucky statewide Democratic candidate during the 2011 elections.
Her term as Secretary of State began on January 2, 2012. While Secretary of State, Grimes visited the Middle East to observe the voting process of overseas military personnel. This experience led her to become an advocate of an improved voting process for the U.S. military.
2014 U.S. Senate campaign
||The neutrality of this section is disputed. (August 2014)|
In a July 2013 press conference, Grimes announced that she would run for the United States Senate seat held by Mitch McConnell. The Washington Post called the announcement event "underwhelming." Grimes kicked off her campaign formally at an event in Lexington on July 30, drawing a crowd of nearly 2,000 supporters.
Grimes received strong reviews for her appearance at the Fancy Farm picnic, an important event for politicians in Kentucky. The race is considered to be competitive by both the Cook Political Report and the Rothenberg Political Report, which considers the race to "lean Republican."
On July 25, 2013, the Republican Laurel County Clerk filed a complaint with Kentucky's Executive Branch Ethics Commission after receiving a fundraising e-mail sent to government e-mail accounts by Secretary of State Grimes. The complaint concerns the legality of the secretary of state sending fundraising e-mails to county clerks who report to her in matters pertaining to elections.
In April 2014, Grimes attended a Chicago meeting of the Democracy Alliance, a group of liberal donors who pool their resources in support of progressive causes. She was a featured speaker at the event. Hollywood executives Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Katzenberg have hosted fundraising events for Grimes in New York City and Beverly Hills. Her father's involvement in the campaign has been noted as a factor in the race because of the political and fundraising connections he brings.
Grimes and McConnell have disagreed over debate proposals; McConnell prefers a series of Lincoln-Douglas style debates with only candidates asking questions, while Grimes has said she wants members of the audience to ask questions. McConnell wanted all three debates completed by Labor Day while Grimes wants the debates closer to the November election.
In August 2014, Politico reported that the Kentucky Republican Party filed a Federal Election Commission complaint over Grimes' campaign's use of a bus owned by her father's company, arguing that the difference between what it pays for the bus and its fair market value amounts to an unlawful in-kind donation. The campaign has argued that its rates were within market value.
Grimes stated she would vote to delay the employer mandate for small businesses in the Affordable Care Act, but supports the act's goals of increasing coverage. She has criticized Mitch McConnell's votes to defund the act on the grounds that doing so would "destroy Kynect," Kentucky's state-based insurance exchange.
In November 2013, Grimes said that as a member of the National Rifle Association, her "strong support for the Second Amendment is unquestioned" and added that she was "proud of Kentucky's long-held gun ownership, sporting and hunting traditions", inviting McConnell to go shooting with her.
Grimes has said that she is "pro-choice down the line on abortion" and opposes efforts to prohibit abortion after 20 weeks. She explained "I come from a family of five women. I would never pretend to tell one of my sisters what to do with their body and I don't want the federal government doing that either.… When it comes to choice, I believe, should a woman have to make that decision, it's between herself, her doctor, and her God."
Grimes supports Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system, saying that "the Iron Dome has been a big reason why Israel has been able to withstand the terrorists that have tried to tunnel their way in."
Grimes supports reducing taxes for businesses that provide child care to their employees, has called for pay equity for female employees and expressed her desire to increase the federal minimum wage.
|2011 Kentucky Secretary of State Democratic primary results|
|Democratic||Alison Lundergan Grimes||85,436||55.26%|
|2011 Kentucky Secretary of State General Election results|
|Democratic||Alison Lundergan Grimes||494,368||60.63%|
- "Mr. Case". Maysville-online.com. 2010-05-05. Retrieved 2013-10-30.
- Horn, Rachel (Winter 2012). "This Woman's Work". Story. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
- "Allison Grimes". Lasting Lynx. Rhodes College. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
- Musgrave, Beth (May 18, 2011). "Grimes beats incumbent in Democratic race for Secretary of State". Lexington Herald-Leader.
- Stoll Keenan Ogden (February 14, 2011). "Alison Lundergan Grimes Announces Departure from Law Firm to Pursue Secretary of State Candidacy".
- "Alison Lundergan Grimes Announces Departure from Law Firm to Pursue Secretary of State Candidacy". Stoll Keenon Ogden. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
- Raju, Manu. "Bluegrass bravado: Untested Alison Lundergan Grimes takes on Mitch McConnell". Politico. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
- "Grimes wins Kentucky secretary of state race". Evansville Courier & Press. November 8, 2011.
- Estep, Bill (November 9, 2011). "Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes easily wins secretary of state race". Lexington Herald-Leader.
- Emily Schultheis & Manu Raju (July 1, 2013). "Alison Lundergan Grimes announces Senate run". Politico.
- Blake, Aaron (7-2-2013). "Alison Lundergan Grimes’s underwhelming launch — and what it means". Washington Post. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
- Joe Sonka (August 7, 2013). "Fancy, brutish and short". LEO Weekly.
- Cross, Al (11 August 2013). "What Fancy Farm portends". Retrieved 11 August 2013.
- Keeling, Larry Dale (11 August 2013). "Larry Keeling: Round 1 to Matt Bevin, Alison Lundergan Grimes". Lexington Herald-leader.
- Carroll, James R. (3 August 2013). "Mitch McConnell, Alison Lundergan Grimes race a 'toss up,' according to non-partisan observer". The Courier-Journal.[dead link]
- "Senate Ratings". Rothenberg Political Report. 4 September 2014. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
- Scott Wartman (July 25, 2013). "County clerk files ethics complaint against Grimes".
- "Kentucky - Summary Vote Results". Associated Press. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
- Drush, Andrea (5-2-2014). "Republicans Forcing Lundergan Grimes To Choose Between Her Donors And Voters". National Journal. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
- Gold, Matea (5-4-2014). "Washington Post". Washington Post. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
- Itkowitz, Colby (2014-06-19). "Alison Lundergan Grimes hangs with Hollywood". Washington Post. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
- Newton-Small, Jay (14 February 2014). "Father of McConnell Foe is Both Asset and Risk in Kentucky". Time. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
- Gerth, Joseph (22 September 2013). "Ky. Senate candidate's dad brings connections, baggage". USA Today. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
- "McConnell, Grimes debate over the debate". WHAS11. 2014-06-06. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
- Alison Lundergan Grimes mum on coal at private fundraiser, Politico, June 9, 2014
- Raju, Manu (22 August 2014). "Kentucky GOP files complaint over Alison Lundergan Grimes bus". Politico. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
- Fineman, Howard (8-3-2013). "Alison Lundergan Grimes Talks Abortion As She Unfurls Policy Positions". Huffington Post. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
- Grimes hits back: On Obamacare, Mitch McConnell is in “fantasyland”, Greg Sargent, The Washington Post, May 28, 2014
- Grimes campaign slams McConnell, The Hill, May 28, 2014
- Matt Berman (November 8, 2013). "Alison Lundergan Grimes Really Wants You to Know How Much She Likes Guns". National Journal. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
- Goldmacher, Shane (2014-05-18). "Alison Lundergan Grimes Is Talking a Lot About Her Gender". National Journal. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
- Bobic, Igor (2014-08-17). "Alison Lundergan Grimes: Iron Dome Helps Israel Defend Against Terrorists In Tunnels". Huffington Post. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
- Democrats brace for climate rule fallout, Politico, June 1, 2014
- "Alison Lundergan Grimes biography". Kentucky Secretary of State.
- "Lundergan and Grimes vows are solemnized". The Ledger Independent. September 7, 2006. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
- Office of Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes
- Alison Lundergan Grimes for U.S. Senate
- Alison Lundergan Grimes at DMOZ
- Profile at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
|Secretary of State of Kentucky
|Party political offices|
|Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Kentucky