Updated at 6:24 p.m. ET on Monday, July 1
(CNN) - National Democrats have landed their candidate to face off against Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.
Kentucky's Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who many in the party consider their best hope to try and unseat McConnell in next year's midterm elections, announced Monday that she will form a campaign in the next two weeks.
"Kentucky is tired of 28 years of obstruction. Kentucky is tired of someone who has voted against raising the minimum wage while all the while quadrupling his own net worth. Kentucky is tired with the senior senator who has lost touch with Kentucky issues, voters and their values," said Grimes at a news conference in Frankfort, the state's capital.
Grimes announcement directly followed a meeting with around 50 of her strongest supporters. That gathering followed similar get-togethers Grimes has held throughout the state, according to Jonathan Hurst, a senior Grimes political adviser.
Starting in March, when actress and activist Ashley Judd announced that she would not challenge McConnell, Grimes came under pressure to announce her intentions one way or another, with national Democrats touting her as a top potential candidate.
Grimes, the daughter of a former Kentucky Democratic party chairman with close ties to former President Bill Clinton, also came under attack recently by an internet ad put out by the McConnell campaign that poked fun at the amount of time she was taking to make a decision, and by a pro-McConnell independent group that went up with an ad tying her to President Barack Obama.
Responding to the criticism that she was taking too long to decide, Grimes said, "make no mistake, members of the media, this due diligence was not reluctance, it was not hesitancy."
With Grimes launching a bid, the race in Kentucky could end up becoming one of the most expensive marquee 2014 Senate battles. While Democrats consider McConnell vulnerable, he has a large war chest, with $8.6 million cash on hand at last check.
Pro-Democratic groups have already gone up with ads earlier this spring against McConnell, who has also aired TV commercials. It's extremely rare for an incumbent to go up with spots so early in a campaign cycle.
"His ads are based out of fear of losing his 30 year grip on power," charged Grimes.
President Barack Obama lost Kentucky by 23 percentage points in last November's election, and McConnell was quick to tie Grimes to the president.
"Accepting the invitation from countless Washington liberals to become President Obama's Kentucky candidate was a courageous decision by Alison Lundergan Grimes and I look forward to a respectful exchange of ideas," said McConnell in a statement. "The next sixteen months will provide a great opportunity for Kentuckians to contrast a liberal agenda that promotes a war on coal families and government rationed health care with someone who works everyday to protect Kentuckians from those bad ideas."
There was a similar message from the National Senatorial Campaign.
"Kentuckians have absolutely no reason to send Alison Lundergan Grimes to Washington to help pass the policies of a President whom they adamantly oppose and to elect a liberal Senate Leader who declared, 'coal makes us sick, said NRSC Executive Director Rob Collins.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee calls McConnell "the most unpopular incumbent in the entire country," and adds that Grimes entry makes the race a toss up.
"We expect to preserve our majority next year by defending strong incumbents and playing offense in Kentucky and Georgia. We have a long road to travel, but Republicans are making our job a little easier each day, failing to recruit strong candidates and expand the playing field," said DSCC Executive Director Guy Cecil, in a statement.
Kentucky hasn't sent a Democrat to the U.S. Senate since 1992, when Wendell Ford won re-election.