"Mitch McConnell has been in the U.S. Senate
for nearly 30 years," Bevin
told about 80 of his supporters in the state Capitol.
"This is going to be the biggest nuisance he's
ever had," Bevin
On Wednesday Benton responded with a statement, which didn't mention Bevin
received threats and offers of inducements to persuade him not to run, but those entreaties "were utterly ineffective.
would not identify anyone by name.
Both campaigns were attacking the other with television ads Wednesday.
ran an ad saying McConnell has been in the Senate too long and has lost touch with Kentucky.
McConnell was up with his own, titled "Bailout Bevin
," accusing Bevin of accepting $200,000 in federal assistance for a family-owned Connecticut company destroyed by fire and for delinquent taxes.
reacted testily to the charge of tax delinquency.
"That is an absolute falsehood," Bevin
said, saying the tax liabilities were accrued before he
took over and then later paid the back taxes.
, 46, was accompanied by his
wife, Glenna, and their nine children, four of whom they adopted from Ethiopia.
The New Hampshire native was introduced by Jenean Hampton, president of the Bowling Green-Southern Kentucky Tea Party
, and he
has been endorsed by several Kentucky tea party groups.
said McConnell's attempt to grab the mantle of the tea party won't work.
said McConnell is part of a Washington elite; has voted nine times to increase the federal debt ceiling; and has failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans call "Obamacare."
said McConnell has demonstrated "an insatiable, unending support for pork barrel spending" and "voted to raise his
own pay at least five times.
called for an end to earmark spending which he
characterized as "the dirty, filthy grease that allows bad legislation to pass.
also criticized McConnell votes on the Patriot Act and immigration.
wouldn't say how much money he
expects to raise or how much of his
personal wealth he
is willing to contribute but he
will have enough to run a credible campaign.
is hitting McConnell on some of the same issues as Alison Lundergan Grimes, the likely Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate
, especially McConnell's nearly three decades in office and votes to increase his own pay.
It forces McConnell to turn his attention from Grimes to Bevin
and forces him to expend at least some of the $9.6 million in cash he has on hand to combat a fellow Republican rather than Grimes.
has never run for office before.
He was an officer in the U.S. Army and moved to Kentucky in 1999, working with National Asset Management.
According to his
official biography, in 2008 Bevin
family-owned bell manufacturing company - Bevin Brothers - in Connecticut.
That's the company that accepted federal assistance and faced the delinquent taxes cited by the McConnell campaign.
Bevin became president of the company in 2011 and "paid off all the company's debts and back taxes, modernized the business model and saved more than 200 jobs," according to the biography.