There are a lot of things that make Alison Lundergan Grimes‘ quest to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky an uphill battle. Grimes is a Democrat in a conservative state, running against a five-term incumbent in a challenging year for Democrats.
But Grimes does have one thing very solidly in her favor: In a state in which Kentucky fans outnumber Louisville fans by more than a 3-to-1 ratio, McConnell is a Louisville graduate who roots for the Cardinals. Grimes graduated from Rhodes College in Memphis, but she lives in Lexington — across the street from Rupp Arena, in fact — and her husband, Andrew, is a professor at UK.
Read on for more about Andrew Grimes and his marriage to the woman vying to be Kentucky’s next U.S. Senator.
1. Andrew Grimes Teaches Management at the University of Kentucky
Andrew Grimes teaches management at the University of Kentucky, whose campus is in the Grimes’ home town of Lexington.
If his page on RateMyProfessors.com is any indication, Grimes is a pretty good professor. He has a score of 5 out of 5 for overall quality and even a hot pepper icon signifying his “hotness” factor is an asset.
Here’s what one student wrote about him:
Andrew Grimes was easily in my top 3 professors that I had at UK. He is a boss in real life, is married to the secretary of state, and is still young enough to connect with college students. The insights that he gives as far as how to be successful in the professional world are invaluable. Definitely take him if you can.
2. Andrew & Alison Started Dating in High School
In an ad promoting Grimes’ “Alison Cares” theme that you can watch above, Andrew says that the two went on their first date in 1997, when they were in high school. He goes on to sing his wife’s praises:
She cares about Kentucky more than anyone I’ve ever met. She cares about the middle class. She cares about the women of Kentucky. She cares about our students. She cares about all those people that feel like they get left behind. She’s the strongest fighter I’ve ever seen and she will fight for Kentucky families in Washington, where they have not been fought for in a long, long time. I’m not voting for Alison because she’s my wife and my best friend. I’m voting for Alison because she cares about Kentucky, and Kentucky needs Alison.
3. Andrew & Alison Have Been Married Since 2006
Alison and Andrew just celebrated their eighth wedding anniversary, having been married in September of 2006. They don’t have children.
In an interview in September with Kentucky Sports Radio, Alison said her support for gay marriage is rooted in the belief that couples regardless of their sexual orientation should be able to have the kind of marriage that she and Andrew have. Watch the clip above. The question comes at the 10:45 mark in the video.
Here’s the way Grimes answered the question:
I respect churches and their teachings and I don’t expect any church to adhere to something that’s not in keeping with their teachings, but my husband and I … we’ve been married for eight years, and I think that others across this nation, here in Kentucky deserve that same ability to make that same commitment.
4. Alison & Andrew Live Across the Street from Rupp Arena
In her interview with Kentucky Sports Radio, one of Alison’s major talking points was the devotion she and Andrew have for UK sports teams — particularly the Cats’ men’s basketball team, which is No. 1 in the nation in both major preseason polls.
Here’s how she described the couple’s fandom:
My husband and I live across from Rupp Arena if that tells you anything. We determined that we needed to live there because he could literally finish a beer from the back of our driveway to the end before you get into a UK game.
… I do follow the team. Excited about the team we have this coming year. It could be the Wildcats against the Arizona Wildcats.
Asked if she rooted for Louisville along with UK, here’s how Alison answered:
You’re excited for all Kentucky schools, but when it comes to UK versus U of L, I cheer for the Blue and White.
5. Andrew Has Been a Constant Presence on the Campaign Trail
It was no surprise to see Andrew Grimes with his wife Tuesday morning when the candidate cast her vote at Green Baptist Church in Lexington. He’s been a constant presence on the campaign trail, often joining her on stage and greeting voters.