On the Senate floor and on the hustings, Republican McConnell is emphasizing his efforts to protect the state’s struggling coal industry as he prepares a defense of a Senate seat he’s held for almost 30 years.
In the Senate, McConnell “is pressing for a vote to help Kentucky’s struggling coal industry just two weeks before his Republican primary contest,” Bloomberg’s Kathleen Hunter reported. “He’s trying to bar the Environmental Protection Agency from issuing new carbon standards for U.S. power plants, a step that may shutter plants in his home state.”
Those efforts have been thwarted by his partisan opposite, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. McConnell would be in line for Reid’s job if the Kentucky Republican wins re-election and his party makes a net gain of six seats.
McConnell’s campaign is airing two pro-coal ads that have appeared a total of 838 times, according to New York-based Kantar Media’s CMAG, which tracks advertising.
Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, a pro-McConnell super-political action committee, ran two pro-coal ads last summer a total of 1,320 times. The pro-McConnell nonprofit group Kentucky Opportunity Coalition ran a coal commercial 417 times last month. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce ran an ad 452 times last December lauding McConnell for “fighting back and fighting hard” against the EPA.
McConnell is favored to win the May 20 primary against businessman Matt Bevin. He would then face off in November against Kentucky’s Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.