Breaking:Senator Bunning Will Not Seek Reelection

This report is from Roll Call:

In a move that signals a retirement announcement from Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) is imminent, Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson (R) has formed an exploratory committee to run for Senate.

In making the announcement, Grayson reiterated that he has “no plans to run against Senator Bunning” — and one Republican political strategist confirmed Thursday that Bunning did in fact give Grayson the green light to open up an exploratory committee, a clear signal that he does not plan to seek another term in 2010. A second GOP source said Grayson was likely to run now, even if Bunning decides not to retire after all.

Kentucky Republicans are speculating that Bunning will make his retirement announcement May 9 at the state’s Lincoln Day Dinner.

Grayson met with Bunning and other Members of the the Kentucky delegation this week before forming his exploratory committee. One of those meetings was with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has been a political mentor to Grayson.

In their meeting McConnell “wished [Grayson] luck,” said McConnell’s chief of staff, Billy Piper.

Grayson has hired McConnell’s pollster, Jan van Lohuizen.