1:06pm

Tue March 19, 2013
All Politics are Local

Potential Republican Challenger to McConnell Expands Outreach to Kentucky Tea Party

A Louisville businessman exploring a Republican primary against U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is setting up meetings with Tea Party groups in Central Kentucky. David Adams, a tea party activist from Central Kentucky, said he's planning to meet with Bevin next week in Lexington with other activists to familiarize themselves with Matt Bevin, the possible Republican Senate candidate and a Louisvillian who runs the Connecticut-based Bevin Brothers Manufacturing.

Credit foxnews.com

"We're looking for general agreement on issues and then as time permits, try to get more specific on that agreement or disagreement, judging how viable a candidacy might be," Adams said.

Bevin's supporters  reached out to Adams for the meeting.

"That day is still yet to be determined, the location will be Lexington, but that's just one meeting that's part of a larger on-going process," Adams said.

Matthew Bevin already appears to have support from members of the Louisville Tea Party, but other Kentucky Tea Party leaders say they don't know enough about him to take sides.

Last year, a poll from a Democratic-leaning firm said that McConnell had a 37-percent approval rating among Kentucky voters—last among U.S. senators.

Several Kentucky Tea Party  groups are recruiting primary challengers to McConnell—Bevin among them, Adams said. Other possible challengers may emerge, but Bevin said he expects Kentucky Tea Party groups will rally around a single candidate.

Adams declined to name other potential candidates. 

Bevin was criticized recently after The Hill published a story of his educational background. The report said Bevin claimed educational ties on his LinkedIn profile to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; MIT said Bevin had no formal link to the school.

Some Tea Party leaders dismissed the issue, but Adams said any potential damaging information could hurt a McConnell challenger.

On the Democratic side, actress Ashley Judd is seen as a likely candidate in the 2014 race.