2014 Kentucky Senate race

Politics
5:55 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Matthew Bevin Confirms Tea Party Meetings, Interest in Challenging Mitch McConnell

Louisville businessman Matthew Bevin
Credit foxnews.com

Louisville businessman Matthew Bevin is interested in taking on Republican Mitch McConnell in a primary election, but no final decision has been made.

Bevin is owner of the Connecticut-based Bevin Brothers Manufacturing, a bell-making company that has been in his family over 150 years. He is also an adviser to Waycross Partners, an investment firm in downtown Louisville.

In a statement sent to WFPL, Bevin spokeswoman Amy Lowe says the investor has met with "various individuals and groups" including Tea Party groups in Kentucky, who have voiced "frustration with their current representation."

From Bevin's spokeswoman:

These meetings, together with the recent reaction to the possibility of a primary race, have served to reaffirm the general sense of political disenchantment among many voters in Kentucky that has been widely reflected in recent articles and polls.

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Politics
9:40 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Team Mitch Ad Mocks Democratic Candidate Search

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky
Credit File photo

In the first ad of the 2014 Kentucky Senate race, Republican Mitch McConnell pokes fun at Democrats for being unable to find an opponent for the general election.

The online spot utilizes clips of President Obama, and shows him looking at a number of rumored challengers including actress Ashley Judd, former U.S. Ambassador Matthew Barzun and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

It also notes how a number of prominent Democrats in the state have said flat out they are not interested in taking on McConnell in 2014.

Watch:

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Politics
6:00 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Louisville Businessman Being Rumored as Tea Party Challenger to Mitch McConnell

Louisville businessman Matthew Bevin
Credit mail.com

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.

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Politics
8:55 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Democrats Divided on Ashley Judd, But Supporters Becoming More Vocal

Ashley Judd
Credit Salon

Parallel to the divide between Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and the Tea Party, Kentucky Democrats are vocally split over actress Ashley Judd running the GOP leader.

Democratic officials, lawmakers and operatives have voiced opposition to Judd, suggesting the Hollywood star is too liberal and would hurt down-ticket candidates. Judd has been described as a "catastrophe" for not only state House candidates but gubernatorial ones in 2015.

But Judd supporters are pushing back.

Former state treasurer Jonathan Miller tells WFPL that Judd could actually defeat McConnell next year, and that her critics represent the Democratic establishment who are trying to repel a threat to their pocketbooks.

"Ashley Judd would be what we call a change agent, she would be someone very new on the scene. And folks in the status quo who are everyday active in politics sometimes fear change, and I think that’s what you’re seeing here," he says.

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Politics
6:00 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Mitch McConnell Leads Ashley Judd 49-40 in New Poll

Mitch McConnell and Ashley Judd

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., leads actress Ashley Judd by nine percentage points, according to new poll released Wednesday.

The survey was conducted by RunSwitch & Harper Polling, which was co-founded by Republican strategist Scott Jennings of Kentucky.

It has a 3.3 percent margin of error and surveyed 850 likely voters.

Besides a near 10-point lead for McConnell, the firm shows the GOP leader with 60 percent support among Republican primary voters versus "someone else."

Those figures differ from previous polls showing McConnell struggling amongst his base.

"My takeaways from the survey are that Senator McConnell is in solid-shape among Republicans and general election voters, and that Ashley Judd, for someone who has never run for office, already has a tough hole out of which to climb regarding her own image," Jennings said in a online statement.

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Politics
10:45 am
Sun February 10, 2013

Karl Rove Promises More Ashley Judd Attack Ads

Republican strategist Karl Rove is promising more attack ads targeting actress Ashley Judd.

Judd is flirting with a bid against Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who is up for re-election in 2014.

In a brutal online ad, American Crossroad tagged the actress-activist as an out-of-touch Hollywood liberal, and criticized her for living in Tennessee. Rove is the super PAC's founder, and he says there's plenty more to come.

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Politics
2:20 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Councilwoman Marilyn Parker to Tea Party: Don't Play 'Russian Roulette' With Mitch McConnell's Seat

Credit Parker campaign

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Marilyn Parker, R-18, is urging fellow Tea Party activists to think twice before taking on Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in 2014.

McConnell opened his re-election headquarters in Louisville over the weekend, and promised a vigorous campaign. In recent weeks, more than a dozen Tea Party groups from around the state have warned they are lining up an opponent to take on the GOP leader.

Parker attend the opening and told WFPL many in the Tea Party are upset with McConnell's leadership, particularly when it comes to federal spending.

But the East End Republican says McConnell’s position is too important to risk, and that he has stood up against President Obama's agenda in Washington.

"I think we are at a very tenuous time in the country, and it’s important that’s not jeopardized at this time,” she says.

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Politics
10:59 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Mitch McConnell Suspects Challenge Will Come From The Right

Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., acknowledges a potential Tea Party challenger.
Credit File photo

In an interview with Yahoo News, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell admits he could face a tough primary challenge from the Tea Party in his home state of Kentucky.

Since its inception the Tea Party has been critical of McConnell's leadership despite his efforts to make peace with the movement. The strife has increased in recent weeks, with over a dozen Tea Party groups in Kentucky warning that a primary challenger is forthcoming.

McConnell says he doesn't have a sense of entitlement to the senate seat, and expects a vigorous campaign.

From Yahoo News:

McConnell acknowledged he may face a tough primary challenge in 2014, in part because he has been at odds with tea party members in his state and because those in Senate leadership roles in both parties are juicy targets for defeat.

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Politics
3:18 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

MoveOn, United Kentucky Tea Party Dismiss McConnell Campaign's Infiltration Charge

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell
Credit File photo

Liberal and Tea Party groups are denying claims by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's campaign that they are working together to defeat the GOP leader in 2014.

In a campaign fundraising e-mail Monday, McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton told supporters that liberal organizers were "attempting to infiltrate conservative" groups across the state.

A previous message accused MoveOn.org of backing a "phony Tea Party" in an attempt to hurt McConnell in a primary race.

But MoveOn spokesman Nick Berning says they are not working with any Tea Party groups in Kentucky, and that they will seek to defeat McConnell in a general election.

"It's understandable that Mitch McConnell is frightened to face voters in 2014, and his focus on MoveOn members' electoral might is well founded, but his fantasy that we have teamed up with the Tea Party to elect someone even more out of touch than him is ridiculous," he says. "MoveOn's nearly 70,000 members in Kentucky are tired of McConnell carrying water for Wall Street and leading the 'Party of No' at the expense of poor and middle class families, and he should expect we will hold him accountable for it—in the general election."

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Politics
2:37 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Team Mitch Blasts Bluegrass Poll as 'Malarkey'

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell at a Tea Party rally in Frankfort, Ky. last year
Credit Kenny Colston / Kentucky Public Radio

The re-election campaign for Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is dismissing a poll conducted by The Louisville Courier-Journal, which shows the GOP leader with just 17 percent support.

According to the survey, voters opposed to McConnell’s re-election outnumber supporters 2-to-1. It also found that only one-third of Republican voters support him in the 2014 election, adding further fuel to Tea Party criticism and outright defiance of McConnell's leadership in Kentucky.

McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton responded by saying no incumbent could fare well given the surveys line of questioning.

"The question itself minimizes the level of support for an incumbent by requiring a poll respondent to pledge their allegiance despite the prospect of an unnamed utopian candidate looming in the wings," said Benton.  "To make the bias even more pronounced than a generic 'someone else,' which is difficult enough, this question hardens that by asserting you must support him 'no matter who runs against him.'  So your neighbor, best friend, husband/wife, priest, pastor, reverend or rabbi wouldn’t get your vote if they were on the ballot.

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