- Associated Press - Saturday, February 8, 2014

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell has held events with coal miners in eastern and western Kentucky in his campaign to keep his seat.

McConnell’s campaign says he launched his “Coal Country for Team Mitch” effort with stops in Hazard and Madisonville on Saturday.

The Republican senator, who says he is a strong supporter of the coal industry, received support from coal miners in both locations.

McConnell, the longest-serving senator in state history, is seeking a sixth term. He is being challenged in the GOP primary by Louisville businessman Matt Bevin.

Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is the Democratic front-runner in this year’s Senate race. She is in her first term as Kentucky’s secretary of state.

Coal mining, a major industry in the state, has emerged as a central issue in the race.

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