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Matt Bevin Challenges Mitch Mcconnell
A sleepy little primary campaign just got interesting as Mitch McConnell has a challenger for Tea Party support and the Republican nomination for his senate seat. A political newcomer is taking on the political juggernaut who is Kentucky's longest-serving United States Senator. Louisville businessman Matt Bevin announced his plans today to take on incumbent Mitch McConnell in next spring's Republican primary. Bevin barnstormed the state and made a stop in Newport this afternoon.
Local 12's Joe Webb was there.
Matt Bevin knows he's got a lot of work to do, but is convinced his message will resonate with Kentucky voters.....and especially the Tea Party.
Today he was introduced in Northern Kentucky at a special meeting of the Campbell County Tea Party. With his wife and 9 kids at his side, Matt Bevin did all the right things for this Tea Party crowd. He quoted Ronald Reagan, bashed Obama-care and earmarks. But his real target was incumbent Mitch McConnell. He said McConnell was an out of touch elitist who puts power ahead of principles.
Matt Bevin, U.S. Senate Candidate:
"He is a man who over 30 years has continuously voted for the things that fly in the face of this state. He has. He's a big government guy, a moderate at best. Except for when he's running for re-election then he doglegs hard back to the right."
In election years, McConnell also throws a hard right...and left. Even before Bevin formally announced, McConnell had launched an attack ad questioning Bevin's business practices.
"Bevin's company failed to pay taxes and then got a taxpayer bailout. Bailout Bevin Not a Kentucky conservative."
Bevin and McConnell need Tea Party support to carry the Republican primary. McConnell's campaign is being run by the man who ran Rand Paul's successful upset bid for Senate in 2010. Bevin is openly courting Tea Party support.
"There's no way I can win without the support of the Tea Party, Northern Kentucky and throughout the state."
While Bevin bashed McConnell as being an insider and dealmaker, his crowd was not all friendly. A number of McConnell supporters were on hand. They don't have a problem with their senator being an insider and dealmaker.
Katie Stine, KY Sen. Pres, ProTem:
"Right now, we have probably the most powerful spokesperson and worker for Kentucky at the seat of where it's happening in Washington."
McConnell has 28 years of experience and six million in the bank. Bevin knows he's David fighting Goliath and is okay with that.
"He wants to call this race a nuisance? This will be the biggest nuisance he's ever seen. I can assure you that."
We asked McConnell's campaign for a statement today and they did not directly address Bevin's candidacy. They said ....quote....McConnell is working hard to bring all Kentuckians...Republicans, Tea Partiers, independents and conservative Democrats... together to stand against the liberal Obama agenda in Washington. Matt Bevin has lived in Kentucky for 15 years. He was raised in Connecticut where his family ran a bell business.
Bevin Brothers Bells still makes the bells used by the Salvation Army at Christmas time.