McConnell to Face Tea Party Challenger in Primary

Monday, 22 Jul 2013 11:33 AM

By Dan Weil

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Kentucky tea party loyalist Matt Bevin, a local businessman, is planning to run against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in the Republican primary next year.

Bevin plans to announce his senatorial bid Wednesday, according to The Hill.  He'll then begin a three-day trip around the state with eight stops.

He has reserved TV airtime in several Kentucky markets for this week, presumably for ads, under the name "Matt Bevin for Senate" Politico reports. Politico says Bevin has been meeting with national conservative groups, including the Club for Growth, the Senate Conservatives Fund, and the Madison Project.

The McConnell camp on Friday issued strong criticism of Bevin.

"While it is sad to see someone who claims to be a Republican doing Barack Obama's bidding, his campaign is nothing more than a nuisance," McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton said in a statement.

Bevin has been mulling a run for months. He is a partner in the Louisville-based hedge fund Waycross Partners, and owner of Bevin Brothers Manufacturing, a Connecticut bell maker begun in 1832.

Bevin's personal wealth could help him against McConnell, who has almost $10 million cash on hand for his campaign.

On the Democratic side, Kentucky's Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes has entered the race.

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