A popular Kentucky sports radio host announced on Thursday that he is forming an exploratory committee for a potential Senate run against Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell in 2020.
Democrat Matt Jones of KSR Radio said that he is planning to file the paperwork to make his exploratory committee official in the coming days, which will allow him to start raising money for a potential campaign against McConnell.
“I did want to move the ball forward, because I am very interested in the race,” Jones said Thursday, via the Louisville Courier Journal. “And it's important for me to sort of take the next step.”
Jones said he has been considering this run since the beginning of the year, and recently announced an upcoming book that is critical of McConnell titled, “Mitch, Please.”
According to the Louisville Courier Journal, Jones will spend the next few months on a “book tour” to all 120 counties in Kentucky to speak with Kentuckians in both an attempt to gain material for his book and determine whether a Senate run is possible for him.
“If I'm going to determine whether or not I should run, I should do it by going out in the state," Jones said, via the Associated Press. “I think too often candidates sit there and think, “You know what, I'd be really good at this,’ and then make the decision.”
Jones has been doing just that — and said he has actually received a lot of support recently around the state.
“I was in Powell County on Saturday speaking at a Democratic event ... and the amount of people sort of asking me to do it was overwhelming,” Jones said, via the Louisville Courier Journal. “It sort of confirmed to me that there is this sort of desire to find another potential candidate.”
If Jones does enter the race, he knows it’s not going to be easy.
Before he could even run against McConnell — who is seeking his seventh term — he would have to get past Amy McGrath. The ex-Marine barely lost a race against Rep. Andy Barr in Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District in 2018, and has already launched a strong campaign in the state in a bid to take McConnell’s seat.
According to the Louisville Courier Journal, McGrath’s campaign raised a record $2.5 million within 24 hours of announcing her candidacy last month.
“For me to run is going to be quite an uphill slog,” Jones said, via the Associated Press. “You've got to run against Mitch McConnell — ‘Darth Vader’ — the second-most powerful person in America. And before that, I'm going to have to beat the Democratic establishment, who've all gotten behind Amy McGrath.”
Jones, though, said he won’t officially announce until after the statewide elections in November, as he doesn’t want to take away from the governor’s race there.
“After the last four years, these next eight weeks are crucial for the future of Kentucky,” Jones said, via the Louisville Courier Journal. “The Senate race has got so much attention, there's already been so much advertising, that a lot of people have forgotten there's a very important governor's race coming up in two months.”
More from Yahoo Sports: