Lex’s Mayor Will Challenge Sen. Paul

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul has drawn a viable Democratic challenger in his Kentucky Senate race.

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray filed for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate before Tuesday’s 4 p.m. deadline. Gray, the wealthy former CEO of a construction company, made history in 2010 when he was elected Kentucky’s first openly gay mayor. Since then, he has wrangled the city’s pension funds and raised the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.

Gray’s campaign comes as Republicans have increased their grip on Kentucky politics. Republicans hold all but one of the state’s federal offices and four of its six statewide offices, including governor.

But Paul will be distracted, at least initially, as he continues to campaign for president in Iowa and New Hampshire.