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Grimes begins campaign to unseat GOP stalwart McConnell in earnest

LEXINGTON, Ky., July 31 (UPI) -- In what promises to be a bitter U.S. Senate fight in Kentucky, Democratic hopeful Alison Lundergan Grimes charged Republican Mitch McConnell tears down values.

In a rally Tuesday in Lexington that featured a video endorsement from former President Bill Clinton and speeches from state Democratic leaders, Grimes and state party leaders worked to drive home the current secretary of state was the best candidate to drive out McConnell, the Senate Republican leader who has dominated Bluegrass politics for three decades, Politico reported.

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Grimes charged that McConnell was afflicted with the "disease of dysfunction," portraying him as a source of Washington gridlock.

"Where once we had giants like Sen. Wendell Ford, building up this state and this nation, we now have a senior senator that very much tears the values that we believe in -- someone who instead of caring about each and every one of us that is here has shown he clearly only cares about himself," Grimes said.

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Grimes also tried to put space between her and President Obama, who is unpopular in Kentucky.

"I'm here to tell you I don't always agree with the president," Grimes said in her first campaign outing since announcing her candidacy July 1. "I think he is wrong on coal; I think we need to cut the wasteful spending and pass a balanced budget amendment, and I think there are things in the Affordable Care Act which we need and must fix."

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But Grimes still faces significant obstacles in a red state, Politico said.

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McConnell's campaign manager, Jesse Benton, said Kentuckians have a "clear choice" between McConnell and Grimes, whom he said was "an ambitious but unproven liberal who will be more beholden to President Barack Obama and his financial backers than the citizens she hopes to represent."

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