Trial begins for father of Sen. McConnell campaign rival

Jerry Lundergan // WKYT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- The father of Kentucky's secretary of state is going to trial on charges that he made illegal contributions to his daughter's unsuccessful campaign to unseat Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Prosecutors allege that Jerry Lundergan hired consultants and vendors to work for his daughter's 2014 campaign, paying for them out of his business account without seeking reimbursement. Federal authorities say that amounted to an improper campaign contribution.

Lundergan's daughter is Alison Lundergan Grimes, who lost to the Republican majority leader. Grimes has called the charges politically motivated and predicted her father will be vindicated.

Lundergan has been a fixture in Kentucky Democratic politics for decades. He's a former state lawmaker and formerly served as chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party.