Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway (D) won by a thin margin and will face Rand PaulRand PaulSenate sends annual defense bill to Obama's desk GOP rep: Trump has 'extra-constitutional' view of presidency The ignored question: What does the future Republican Party look like? MORE (R) in November.
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway snagged the Democratic nomination for Senate on Tuesday by a thin margin.
Conway bested Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo (D) by what appeared to be a scant one percent, sending the attorney general to a fall matchup against physician Rand Paul (R).
44 percent of Bluegrass Democrats chose Conway and 43 percent backed Mongiardo, according to tallies, with 98 percent of precincts reporting. Three other Democrats in the race polled in the single digits.
Roughly 7,000 votes separated the two Democrats, a thin margin which held up the time of the race being called, while Paul was recognized as the GOP nominee much earlier in the evening.
Democrats have hopes that Conway will take over the seat after the outgoing Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) retires at the end of his term next year.
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) Chairman Robert MenendezRobert MenendezThe right person for State Department is Rudy Giuliani Warren, Menendez question shakeup at Wells Fargo Democrats press Wells Fargo CEO for more answers on scandal MORE (D-N.J.) pointed to increased Democratic inroads in state elections, especially in the most recent reelection races of Bunning and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellMcConnell tees up spending bill as shutdown looms Trump really can't do much to reduce tensions with Putin's Russia The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-Ky.).
"In 2010, this seat will be equally competitive," Menendez wrote in a memo released Tuesday evening. "Republicans nominated a very problematic candidate whose irrational policy positions generate national headlines, but hurt the people of Kentucky."
"Conway was the choice candidate of the campaign strategists at the DSCC — despite the fact that he has only won a single race during his career against an extremely weak opponent," National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Chairman John CornynJohn CornynMnuchin, Price meet with GOP senators House approves funding bill, but fate in Senate unclear Senate Dems hold out on spending deal, risking shutdown MORE (Texas) said in a memo of his own.
Most political observers expect the race to be a toss-up.