Tuesday all eyes were on the State of the Union address, but at the same time the candidate filing deadline passed for Kentucky democrats and republicans. There are two major issues to keep an eye on in the Commonwealth this year: high profile U.S. Senate race and a power struggle between democrats and republicans in the state House of Representatives.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is seeking his sixth term and the race is already gaining major national attention. McConnell roped-in four republican primary challengers. Among those is Matt Bevin, the Louisville businessman who says McConnell isn't conservative enough.
Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is largely considered the democratic frontrunner. She faces three opponents in the primary.
According to CNN, the race for McConnell's Senate seat is expected to be one of the most expensive race's in the nation, as McConnell has access to major donors. Democrats want McConnell out and are investing heavily in the race too.
In the Kentucky state House of Representatives, expect a tough fight to take control of the House. Democrats currently have a 54 to 46 advantage over house republicans, but the GOP, which controls the state Senate, is hoping to overtake the house to have full advantage of the General Assembly. Political experts suggest Western Kentucky will be a major political combat zone as republicans have picked up house seats in the former democratic stronghold.
In Indiana, the state is still finalizing its primary line-up but the deadline for Hoosier republicans and democrats to file is fast approaching. Candidates have until Friday, Feb. 7 to get their names on the ballot for the May 6 primary race.
The first state in our region to see a primary election will be Illinois. The hot race to watch in the Land of Lincoln is the gubernatorial race. Several ratings agencies consider Gov. Pat Quinn to be among the most vulnerable governors heading into the 2014 election season. He'll face one democratic challenger in the primary. The primary will include five GOP candidates, of whom State Treasurer Dan Rutherford is considered the frontrunner for the republican nomination.
Eyewitness News is partnering with our Illinois sister stations to host a gubernatorial debate in Champaign, Ill. Monday, March 3. We'll be showing that debate live on Tristatehomepage. We'll announce more details in the weeks to come.