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Conservative group endorses Matt Bevin in Ky.

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October 18, 2013 01:07 PM EST | AP

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FRANKFORT, Ky. — FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A conservative group has endorsed Republican challenger Matt Bevin in Kentucky's U.S. Senate race.

The move by the Senate Conservatives Fund came two days after the incumbent, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, finalized a budget compromise with Democrats to end an impasse that had led to a partial shutdown of the federal government.

The group, founded by former Sen. Jim DeMint, was sharply critical of the budget deal. Executive director Matt Hoskins called Bevin "a true conservative" who will fight to stop overspending, bailouts and rising debt.

The group has already spent some $340,000 to run a TV ad in Kentucky criticizing McConnell.

McConnell spokeswoman Allison Moore discounted the endorsement, saying the group has made a practice of recruiting and promoting unelectable candidates for Senate.