Mongiardo announces run for U.S. Senate

Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo announced today that he will be running for the U.S. Senate seat next year, his second attempt at the office.

Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo

Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo

In a statement issued Monday, Mongiardo, a surgeon from Hazard, cites his “passion to improve health care for all Kentuckians” as a driving force in his decision to run for the Senate again. 

Mongiardo lost by less than 2 percentage points to U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning, a Southgate Republican, in 2004. 

Mongiardo used his announcement to criticize Bunning, who has said he will seek a third term in office but who has done little fundraising. 

“With our nation facing enormous challenges, families and small businesses mired in a deep economic recession, rising health care costs and declining incomes, we have a senator who is simply not getting the job done,” Mongiardo said in the statement. “Jim Bunning is absent at this critical time.  He offers no ideas, no action and no solutions.”

Mongiardo’s announcement was followed by a statement from Gov. Steve Beshear – 

“Daniel Mongiardo has been an invaluable member of this administration and would make an outstanding U.S. Senator for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Daniel has been my administration’s point person on two critical issues – advancing our economy through the transformation of our tourism industry with adventure tourism and dramatically improving health care by pushing Kentucky to be a national leader in e-health. Daniel’s passion for – and commitment to – these issues and others make him an important voice for Kentucky’s future. In particular, I understand his desire to be part of the national debate on how best to create a more affordable and accessible health-care system for all Americans. I wish him and Allison all the best as they embark on this new and challenging adventure together.”

Update, 3:13 p.m. …

The Herald-Leader is reporting that Attorney General Jack Conway said during a press conference in his Capitol office today that he is still “very interested” in a run for the U.S. Senate, which would set up a contested Democratic primary in the race.

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