10:48am

Tue July 23, 2013
All Politics are Local

McConnell Will Face Tea Party Opponent in GOP Primary

Tea Party activist Matt Bevin.

A tea party activist who has signaled that he intends to begin a campaign to take on Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in next year's GOP primary in Kentucky has now removed all doubt. An aide to Louisville businessman Matt Bevin distributed a press advisory on Tuesday announcing stops on a statewide tour "announcing his candidacy" for Senate.

Bevin's entry into the race would force a major shift in the McConnell campaign, which has been concentrating entirely on Democratic opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky's 34-year-old secretary of state.

The move by Bevin to challenge McConnell reflects a splintering of the tea party movement in Kentucky. Many of the activists, including U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, have already pledged their support to McConnell.