The 133rd Fancy Farm Picnic was held this weekend in Graves County. Up until just a few weeks ago, many would have expected an off-year for the political event. But with high profile entrances into the 2014 U.S. Senate race, it can perhaps be said now there are no “off-years” at Fancy Farm.
Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is the presumptive favorite to win next May’s Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, but like Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, it seems she will face more than a token primary challenge.
A national political action committee is backing Louisville businessman Matt Bevin over Senator Mitch McConnell in next year's Republican primary election, saying the incumbent has refused to use his leadership position to fight for conservatives.
Based in Washington, D.C., the Madison Project describes itself as a PAC that supports small-government and anti-abortion candidates across the country.
Bevin has already been endorsed by The United Kentucky Tea Party, a coalition of 14 different groups across the state. But this is a sign that Bevin is also getting national attention from organization's outside of the state.
Madison Project spokesman Daniel Horowtiz says the group is proud to endorse Bevin mainly because of his background as an entrepreneur. The group isn't sparring McConnell any criticism, however.
"After 28 years in the Senate and over 10 years in leadership, Senator Mitch McConnell has become the embodiment of stale moss-covered leadership. It's not just his votes for Democrat proposals, such open borders, bailouts, fiscal cliff tax hikes, debt limit increases, green energy stimulus, and funding for Obamacare, it is that fact that McConnell has refused to use his leadership role to fight for conservatives." he says.
Asked about the Madison Project's decisions to back Bevin, McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton dismissed the group.
"Are they still around? I thought they were defunct," he says.
Originally published on Sat July 27, 2013 12:00 pm
Kentucky state Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, says candidates like Mitch McConnell's Tea Party backed primary challenger would rather see the federal government explode and be destroyed than work towards a limited government approach.
The comments come as more GOP state office holders are voicing their support for McConnell over Louisville businessman Matt Bevin.
In public appearances and campaign messages, Bevin, who is endorsed by the United Kentucky Tea Party, has ripped McConnell for not being conservative enough.
But Stivers says McConnell doesn't control all of what goes on in Washington and has to make difficult choices as leader of the 45-member GOP caucus in the Senate.
"And I think some people—mainly some like Mr. Bevin—would just see government explode and be destroyed and have no government at all," Stivers told WFPL in a telephone interview. "But I think Senator McConnell tries to strike a balance of a necessary evil of having some government and not too much."
"Grandmother knew that if you wanted to get something done, you don’t stand in the way," says Grimes. "You stand by your principles, but you also figure out where you can agree and how we can come together. But that's not happening in Washington today, and Senator McConnell is the biggest part of the problem."
It appears that it's just a matter of days before it becomes official that Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate's top Republican, will be forced into a primary by a Louisville businessman with Tea Party backing.
The news that Matthew Bevin, owner of a bell-manufacturing company and an investment company executive, intends to soon announce his effort to oust McConnell is interesting because it appears to place McConnell in something of a bind.
Now sources with national right-leaning advocacy groups tell WFPL they are eager to get involved in a Republican primary battle in the Bluegrass, and are preparing to support Bevin over McConnell.
"Over the next few days we plan to endorse very soon and come in very hard to prosecute the case against Mitch McConnell," says a source with a conservative PAC. "We are all in. Whatever it takes, we're going to help raise money for [Bevin] and we're going to particularly work on ground game."