Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell challenger faces tougher path after rocky launch Funding a strong defense of our nation's democratic process can't wait The Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants MORE’s Democratic opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes, is touting her work supporting soldiers’ access to the ballot in her first ad of the campaign.


The ad features Lynn Dickey of Paducah, Ky., who speaks about one of Grimes’s signature legislative accomplishments during her time as Kentucky secretary of State, the Military Heroes Voting Initiative. The law is intended to improve military access to voting, providing for soldiers serving overseas to receive a ballot via the Internet and return it by mail after they’ve voted.

Dickey opens the ad by declaring, “change can still happen here,” over a shot of the Kentucky statehouse, and touts Grimes’s bipartisan work to pass “a law ensuring every military vote would be counted” after she returned from a trip to the Middle East in 2012.

As a shot of a man in uniform appears on the screen, Dickey declares, “I almost lost my son in Iraq. But what upset him most was his ballot being lost in battle. Because of Alison, that will never happen again.”

“Washington should work this way,” Dickey adds.

The ad comes just weeks before the Republican primary, relatively late in what’s expected to be the marquee race of the cycle. McConnell, meanwhile, has been on air for months, working to beat back a primary challenge from businessman Matt Bevin.

That contest has given Grimes the luxury of conserving her resources while she lets the GOP primary fight play out, but McConnell turned to the general election this week, with an ad focused on job creation, and Grimes appears ready to do the same.

Her ad hints at what's likely to be a persistent debate in the general election fight over which candidate is capable of getting things done for Kentucky. Largely out of the woods from his primary, McConnell has again begun to tout the benefits his long tenure in Washington has been able to secure for Kentucky, and that will likely be a centerpiece of his campaign against Grimes.

But Democrats see that long tenure as part of what makes him so vulnerable this cycle, and they've made him a top target in November.