Northup Planning Bid for Governor

January 9, 2007 · 4:43 PM EST

Former Cong. Anne Northup (R) has all but decided to run for governor this year in Kentucky, where she will face off against incumbent Gov. Ernie Fletcher (R) in the primary. A third candidate, wealthy businessman Billy Harper (R), has already spent $2.4 million on early television ads.

Northup lost reelection last fall in the Louisville-based 3rd District that tilts Democratic. She consistently won reelection since 1996, but the national wave was too much to overcome. Fletcher has been surrounded by controversy during his first term in office and his job ratings have suffered. Northup is a strong fundraiser and great campaigner, but taking on an incumbent is never an easy task. Until she officially announces her candidacy, Northup still has time to reassess her decision.

The eventual Republican nominee, whether Fletcher or Northup, will face a very competitive general election.