Matthew Bevin, a Louisville businessman, is planning to announce his intentions for the 2014 United States Senate race Wednesday followed by a three-day, eight-stop tour of the state, according to a media advisory released Monday.
The advisory signals a Senate run for Bevin, who has been mulling a primary challenge against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for months. In February, he met with Kentucky tea party activists about a potential run. Politico reported that he had booked airtime for this week.
McConnell's campaign attacked Bevin on Friday in a statement. "Matthew Griswold Bevin is not a Kentucky conservative, he is merely an East Coast con man," said campaign manager Jesse Benton. "While it is sad to see someone who claims to be a Republican doing Barack Obama’s bidding, his campaign is nothing more than a nuisance. Mitch McConnell will never waiver in his fight for our Kentucky values."
McConnell has a sizable war chest of more than $9.5 million, a substantial hurdle to any challenger. Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, a Democrat, has announced that she will challenge him in a general election. The Huffington Post's Howard Fineman reported that she wowed Democratic donors at a recent meeting on Martha's Vineyard.
Despite his fundraising advantage, polls have shown McConnell vulnerable to a challenge on his right flank. A Courier-Journal poll in January found that only 34 percent of Republicans would support him against all challengers. A survey by the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling in April found that 46 percent of GOP primary voters support McConnell, while 32 percent would back someone more conservative.