Louisville businessman Matthew Bevin is being rumored as a potential Tea Party primary challenge to Republican Mitch McConnell in the U.S. Senate race.
Bevin is owner of Connecticut-based Bevin Brothers Manufacturing and former CEO of an investment firm in Kentucky.
The 46-year-old businessman was profiled in 2008 for his contributions to religious and civic charitable causes
According to reports, Bevin is courting the local Tea Party with interest in running.
From The Hill:
Sarah Duran(d), president of the Louisville Tea Party, told The Hill that Bevin had been in touch with her over the phone to discuss his run multiple times over the past few weeks, and that he met with the group two weeks ago to discuss his interest in the race.
“We met with him to just discuss our feelings about the Senator, our feelings about someone running against him, what the challenges would be, the risks involved,” she said.
Durand goes on to tell The Hill other Tea Party groups had reached out to Bevin urging him to run against McConnell. But Tea Party leaders WFPL News spoke with say they’ve never heard of Bevin, and no one has been contacted.
“I know nothing about him, unfortunately,” says Northern Kentucky Tea Party President Larry Robinson, adding there are over 30 groups across the state. “Until he meets with my people it’s premature to call anyone the ‘Tea Party’ candidate. We’d like to have him come meet us, just to be familiar.”
John Kemper is a spokesman for United Kentucky Tea Party, a coalition of 14 Tea Party groups across Kentucky. The group has been vocally critical of McConnell and is actively recruiting a primary opponent.
“I can’t find anybody who knows who Mr. Bevin is and he has not reached out to Tea Party leaders across the state. I don’t know who he is talking to, but it’s not the core of the Tea Party in Kentucky. I can say we’re skeptical,” he says.
“We had been told that (Louisville Tea Party President) Sarah Durand had a candidate that she would like for us meet with and vet, but we hadn’t arranged anything. She wasn’t willing to give us a name, and I guess this might be the individual,” says Kemper.
Neither Bevin or Durand could not be reached for comment.