Tea Party activist and Louisville Metro Councilwoman Marilyn Parker says businessman Matt Bevin’s entry in the Kentucky U.S. Senate primary against incumbent Mitch McConnell is good for Republicans in the state.
Parker hasn’t endorsed either candidate and remains undecided on whom she’ll vote for in the primary contest.
But the city lawmaker believes the Bevin campaign is putting federal accountability and small government at the forefront of the 2014 campaign.
“Matt Bevin is raising a lot of good questions and he’s very articulate, and I think people will take note of him,” she says. “And he’s going to bring issues that really the voters need to take a look at.”
Earlier this year Parker had urged other Tea Party activists to reconsider a possible challenge to McConnell because of his leadership position in Washington. Attending the opening of the McConnell campaign headquarters, Parker told WFPL it was important not to jeopardize the senator’s seat.
But that was before Bevin entered the race with the endorsement of more than a dozen Tea Party groups in Kentucky as well as support from outside conservative groups.
In many ways, Parker’s political rise mirrors Bevin’s insurgent campaign against the McConnell machine.
Parker was known in Louisville as a Tea Party activist who spoke out against tax increases and the student assignment plan at Jefferson County school board meetings. Last year, she took on Republican Jon Ackerson and ultimately defeated the incumbent in a razor-thin GOP primary for the east Louisville council seat.
State finance records show Bevin donated $100 to Parker’s primary campaign in 2012.
Parker made it clear she never endorsed McConnell in February and says she agrees with Bevin’s stances on many issues. However, she also believes McConnell has the institutional knowledge necessary for the position.
“I support some of the things Matt Bevin stands for but I am also for the greatest impact for the ideology and the philosophy we believe in, which is smaller government and more accountable government,” she says. “It will draw that discussion further.”