Full Victory Speech by Alison Lundergan Grimes

by John Gregory | 05/21/14 11:25 AM

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes addressed her supporters in Lexington last night following her victory in the Democratic primary for the state’s U.S. Senate seat.

Alison Lundergan Grimes takes the stage saying, "My fellow Kentuckians it is an honor to stand before you as your nominee… Together we will take this fight to Mitch McConnell and hold him accountable for his 30 years of failed leadership… Kentucky will finally get a senator who puts people above partisanship."

Grimes touts her just completed 10-day, 50-county bus tour, with Democrats, Republicans, and independents coming together to embrace her campaign.

She thanks Matt Bevin for leading "a very spirited campaign against 'Senator Gridlock.'" She says she knows it's not easy being a candidate, but that she wants to be a fresh, independent voice in Washington, D.C.

"Let us have no illusions about what is ahead of us… With his millions of D.C. lobbyist insider dollars and out-of-state political action committees, Mitch McConnell is going to try to buy his way back to Washington, D.C. … He wants this campaign to be about anything but his record. What does it say about a man who's been in Washington, D.C., now 30 years in the Senate, that he has no record to run on. It can only be on attacks and misleading information that he runs a campaign. Indeed Mitch McConnell would have you believe that President Obama is on Kentucky's 2014 election ballot…

"Senator McConnell, this race is between you and me. That's the name that appears on the ballot. And as you said so many years ago, it is my number one priority to make sure Mitch McConnell doesn't see another term. Now Mitch McConnell, he wants to tell you who I am, and he has said, he claims Kentucky will be lost if we trade in his seat for a Kentucky woman who he believes will sit on the back bench. Well I'm here to tell you tonight, my fellow Kentuckians, I am not an empty dress, I am not a rubber stamp, and I am not a cheerleader. I am a strong Kentucky woman, who is an independent thinker… As Kentucky's next United States senator, I'll answer to the people of this state. I won't answer to the president, no matter who he or she might be… We all know Washington is broken, it's not working for Kentucky, and after 30 years, it is Mitch McConnell at the center of the gridlock, obstruction, and extreme partisanship that we see… I'm running because Kentucky deserves better…

"This election is not about party control. It's about two very different visions for the commonwealth of Kentucky, one that wants to take us forward where we should and deserve to be, and another that wants to continue to hold us back where as he has for the past three decades…" Grimes claims McConnell has voted 15 times against raising the minimum wage, then says it will be the first thing she puts her name to. "It's not a minimum wage, it's a living wage."

When it comes to women, Grimes says McConnell is again on the wrong side of the issues like pay equity and violence against women. "Senator McConnell, if you can't stand up to protect Kentucky's women against violence, you don't deserve to be a United States senator."

Grimes says it's been on McConnell's watch, not hers, that thousands of coal jobs were lost, clean coal technology went unfunded, and the EPA enacted "over-burdensome" regulations on Kentucky. "This election will be about holding you, Senator McConnell, accountable for all that has happened on your watch… I don't agree with the president's war on coal, I think it's wrong for Kentucky… As Kentucky's next United States senator, I will fight to make sure that coal has a long-term place in our national energy policy… Anything that you hear to the contrary from Mitch McConnell, it is a lie."

On veterans: "Mitch McConnell votes against them… I will continue to champion and advocate on the behalf of our Kentucky heroes."

For working men and women, "I believe that collective bargaining, it's a fundamental right for our American workers… Together it is labor that has lifted millions out of poverty, together we will grow the middle class…"

Grimes references McConnell’s quote about it not being his job brings jobs to Kentucky. She says it will be her number one priority to help put Kentuckians back to work. She says this race is about someone who's never put forward a jobs plan in 30 years, and doesn't believe it's his responsibility. "Unlike Mitch McConnell, I will rise every morning and go to bed every night with the burden on my back of helping to put Kentuckians back to work. That's the job of a United States senator…

"This election, it comes down to one thing: If you think Washington is working for you, that they are in touch with you and your family, that the last six years, well, you'd like to have them reduplicated, then you keep that senior senator in Washington until 2020. But if you're like the majority of Kentuckians and you think that Washington isn't working for this state, that Mitch McConnell is out of touch and gone Washington, and we want to have a better six years, then I invite Kentuckians all across this commonwealth, join our campaign. Together, we will rid Kentucky of a man who hasn't worked for us in Washington, won't work for us in Washington, and replace him with a fighter who will."

See video of statements by Republicans Mitch McConnell and Matt Bevin.

Read a recap of election night speeches from KET’s Election Coverage.