The Corner

Senate Conservatives Fund Endorses McConnell’s Primary Challenger

The Senate Conservatives Fund today endorsed Matt Bevin, a Kentucky businessman challenging Senator Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.). Matt Hoskins, the group’s executive director, said the following in a statement: “Mitch McConnell has the support of the entire Washington establishment and he will do anything to hold on to power. But if people in Kentucky and across the country rise up and demand something better, we’re confident Matt Bevin can win this race.” 

SCF isn’t alone in eyeing the Senate minority leader. Sarah Palin has intimated she’ll target him as well (per the Huffington Post), and a number of conservative leaders who spoke with National Review Online say they feel he should take much of the blame for the failure of their strategy to defund the Affordable Care Act. 

“Mitch McConnell fought this thing from Day One and actively worked against it, going back to July when it first really started gathering steam,” says Dean Clancy of FreedomWorks. ”And he engineered the cloture vote defeat that put the House in such a bad position after they had done the right thing.”

Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots echoed that sentiment. 

“The level of frustration among the grassroots is unlike anything that I have seen in four and a half years towards the Republican party at the moment,” she says, adding that the activists she works with are particularly frustrated with McConnell. 

But McConnell isn’t alone. Clancy tells National Review Online that Senator John Cornyn (R., Texas) should expect a primary challenger from the right. 

“I’m not going to say any names, but he’s going to be primaried for sure,” Clancy says. 

UPDATE: Allison Moore, press secretary for McConnell’s re-election campaign, made the following statement: ”Matt Bevin now has the dubious honor of standing with a self-serving DC fundraising group that made its name by recruiting and promoting unelectable candidates that ensured Barack Obama a majority in the Senate.  They clearly care less about Kentuckians than they do about their reputation for supporting laughably bad candidates. Now they can add a New England bailout recipient who claims he went to MIT to their roster of notable failures.”

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