Democrats have just picked up a top-tier candidate for Senate in Kentucky for 2010, with Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo announcing his candidacy
against Republican incumbent Jim Bunning.
Back in 2004, Mongiardo came out of nowhere and very nearly defeated Bunning, making it a 51-49 race despite having been a no-name state Senator who was vastly outspent in a red state and in a Republican year. And since then his stock has gone up with his election as Lt. Governor.
The possibility exists that Bunning might retire -- he'll be 79 on Election Day, and his close call in 2004 was caused in many ways by his own gaffes on the campaign trail -- but so far he hasn't given any indication in that direction. Keep an eye on this race, as it could be one of the pivotal campaigns of 2010.