Saying it is time to take the country back from “elite, professional” politicians, Louisville businessman Matt Bevin officially announced he is seeking the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate to overthrow incumbent Mitch McConnell.
Bevin is a 46-year-old investment executive and military veteran who owns a bell making company in Connecticut. He has never run for public office before, but Bevin did contribute to Sen. Rand Paul’s Senate campaign in 2009.
For months, Bevin has been meeting with Tea Party groups in the state leading up to this primary bid.
The United Kentucky Tea Party endorsed Bevin immediately, saying his private sector experience makes him an entrepreneur with the knowledge to “balance a budget.”
And for most of the speech, Bevin outlined his conservative vision for the country, advocating for less government spending, lower taxes and a full repeal of President Obama’s health care law.
“I’m asking you to join me in a pledge. A pledge our Founding Father took very, very seriously. A pledge to devote our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor to take back our country from the elite, professional (and) career politicians who are destroying the very fabric of our country,” he says.
Bevin says entering the GOP primary isn’t about McConnell personally, but in a TV ad launched Wednesday makes it clear the Bevin campaign plans to tap into conservative frustration with the five-term senator.
From the Bevin camp:
The McConnell campaign launched a preemptive strike before Bevin’s announcement in a new ad and website targeting the political newcomer. It continues the narrative that Bevin is a “East Cost con man” as Team Mitch put it last week.
Asked about the early criticism, Bevin says the McConnell ad about his business dealings are completely false and a sign the senator doesn’t want to discuss the issues.
“The fact is Mitch McConnell has been a proponent of big government bailouts, of faulty spending and enlarging the size of government for far too long,” says Bevin. “He pretends to be a conservative when it’s to his advantage to do so because he’s running for re-election. And I challenge Mitch McConnell to stand up and defend his record for the last 30 years.”