On Friday, the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund endorsed Matt Bevin, who is challenging Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in this May’s Kentucky Republican primary.
Jenny Beth Martin, President of Tea Party Patriots and its Citizen Fund Super PAC, told the Washington Times, “Senator McConnell worked with the Obama Administration to raise taxes, has voted to raise the debt ceiling ten times, and has added pork barrel projects to further his own career instead of the needs of the American people.”
According to Ms. Martin, “That’s just not the kind of Senator Kentucky needs, and that’s another reason we are joining Tea Party members in the Bluegrass state in supporting Matt Bevin.”
Bevin was endorsed earlier by the Senate Conservative Fund and the Madison Project. The influential Club for Growth, however, has not yet weighed in on the race.
Senator McConnell was endorsed by Kentucky’s junior senator, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), before Bevin entered the race in July. Paul has stood by his endorsement of McConnell despite Bevin’s endorsement by the United Kentucky Tea Party, a loose confederation of the major Tea Parties within the state.
Bevin was delighted to receive the endorsement of one of the largest Tea Party organizations in the country. “I’m excited and grateful to receive the endorsement of the Tea Party Patriots. This influential group has led the charge in fighting for limited government and for increasing opportunities for all our citizens to pursue the American Dream,” he said in a statement emailed to Breitbart News Monday.
“Kentucky,” Bevin predicted, “is going to see a grassroots effort the likes of which no amount of lobbyist money or lies from the establishment can counter.” He added that “[t]he professional political class will try to stop us, but We the People will win this race on May 20.”
The Bluegrass Poll released by the Louisville Courier-Journal and WHAS in February shows that McConnell leads Bevin by a 55 percent to 29 percent margin in the Republican primary, but he trails likely Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes by four percent in the general election. Bevin fares about the same in the poll against Grimes, trailing by five percent.
In its endorsement announcement, the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund hit on this McConnell weakness. “[R]ecent polls have shown that Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will likely lose the general election in November if he received his party’s nomination this spring… The Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund refuses to sit by and allow Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to throw this seat away.”
It was unclear from the Tea Party Patriots Citizen Fund announcement what level of financial support for Bevin’s campaign would accompany its endorsement of him.