The Senate Conservatives Fund endorsed Matt Bevin Friday in his race to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in the GOP primary next year in Kentucky.
Matt Hoskins, the group’s director, said Mr. Bevin is a “true conservative” who is “not afraid to stand up to the establishment and he will do what it takes to stop Obamacare.”
“We know that winning this primary won’t be easy. 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 all across the country rise up and demand something better, we’re confident Matt Bevin can win this race,” Mr. Hoskins said.
The McConnell campaign fired back that Mr. Bevin has “the dubious honor of standing with a self-serving D.C. 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,” said Allison Moore, a McConnell campaign spokesperson, alluding to SCF and its previous endorsements of losing candidates, including the 2012 bids of then-Rep. Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana.
Mr. McConnell is being blasted by tea partyers and some grassroots conservatives for cutting a deal with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, that ended the 16-day government shutdown and granted the federal government more borrowing authority.
They say Mr. McConnell could have done more to support the effort — led by GOP Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee — to defund or delay Obamacare.
Mr. Hoskins also endorsed Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel on Thursday, shortly after Mr. McDaniel announced that he would challenge longtime Sen. Thad Cochran in the state’s Republican primary next year.
Mr. Cochran supported the deal that Mr. McConnell crafted with Mr. Reid.
The SCF news release said it polled it nearly 70,000 members and 90 percent of them said that the group should throw its support behind Mr. Bevin, who has also won the support of local tea party groups.