Bevin may soon announce plans for Senate bid

Matt Bevin

Matt Bevin

Kentucky Senior Senator Mitch McConnell may face opposition from a tea party challenger in the Republican primary election.

In a Public Policy Polling survey in May, McConnell was virtually tied with Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes in his bid for re-election.

Political watchers say this new candidate could be a game changer for the McConnell camp.

Conservative groups have been working hard to tie Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes to President Obama.

Enter Louisville businessman Matt Bevin. Bevin could announce his candidacy this week, which could distract the McConnell camp from its main target, although Jesse Benton, McConnell's campaign manager, says Bevin is no true tea party member.

"Rather than some conservative businessman or Kentucky conservative, he looks a lot more like a travelling east coast con man to us," he said.

Conventional wisdom states that the incumbent should have the advantage in the general election, but if McConnell is dragged into a fight during the primary, that could deplete his war chest enough to give Democrats the upper hand.

"I don't think Matthew Bevin can actually unseat McConnell in the primary, but he is going to chew up a lot of McConnell's money and it will create some discord within the Republican party," said Tom Matijasic, Professor of History at Big Sandy Community and Technical College in Prestonsburg.

It remains to be seen how Bevin's candidacy might tip the scales in a race where McConnell's re-election is anything but certain.

Bevin is scheduled to announce his intentions on Wednesday at the state capitol in Frankfort, after which an aide says he will begin a three-day statewide tour.

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