Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Executive Director Guy Cecil wouldn't tip his hand Monday about the extent to which the committee is wooing Ashley Judd to challenge Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), but he mentioned her and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes as potential contenders for a race he characterized as a serious pickup opportunity.
Cecil, who called the contest a "top priority" for Senate Democrats' campaign arm on a conference call with reporters, wouldn't delve into details of the committee's recruiting strategy, saying the state features a "handful of quality candidates," before mentioning two possibilities by name: Judd and Grimes.
Kentucky-based LEO Weekly reported Friday that unnamed Democratic sources said the DSCC was backing off its push for Judd in favor of taking a second look at Grimes after it conducted a poll that showed Grimes running better against McConnell. When asked about the report, Cecil suggested it didn't come from the committee and didn't say anything about polling.
"We don't spend a lot of time talking to weekly newspapers around the country about our recruitment strategy. That is certainly true in this case," he said.
Cecil vowed to focus on landing a candidate who can draw a contrast with McConnell in 2014.
"We are going to be focused on making sure that we recruit, and that ultimately a candidate runs that can take on Mitch McConnell and draw a very strong contrast, and in particular focus on his miserable record," Cecil said.