Conservative group spent more than $1 million against Mitch McConnell

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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An outside conservative group announced Friday that it has steered nearly $1 million towards defeating Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell in this year’s Republican primary in Kentucky.

The Senate Conservatives Fund says it has spent a total of $985,994 to aid McConnell primary challenger Matt Bevin; $450,383 was donated to Bevin while the $535,611 was in independent expenditures to promote his candidacy.

But despite the money poured into Bevin’s campaign, the businessman still has a long way to go. A November poll showed McConnell winning 50 percent to Bevin’s 17 percent.

The campaign for Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democrat running for McConnell’s seat, used the news about the Senate Conservatives Fund to hammer McConnell.

“In yet another sign of Senator Gridlock’s horrible start to 2014, the Senate Conservatives Fund announced spending $1 million to date to unseat McConnell,” Grimes spokeswoman Charly Norton said Friday. “Senator Gridlock’s failure to connect with Kentuckians underscores the Commonwealth’s overwhelming desire for a new senator in the New Year.”

In total, the Senate Conservatives Fund said its grassroots members invested $2 million in five Republican Senate candidates.

Bevin received the most out of all the conservative candidates they are supporting for the U.S. Senate. Others who received financial support include Mississippi Republican Chris McDaniel ($515,993); Nebraska Republican Ben Sasse ($226,575); Louisiana Republican Rob Maness ($241,384) and Kansas Republican Milton Wolf ($108,768).

The Senate conservatives fund is known for supporting challengers to Republican incumbents. McDaniel is running against Sen. Thad Cochran and Wolf is challenging Sen. Pat Roberts.

“In less than three months, the grassroots have donated an impressive amount to our endorsed candidates,” said Senate Conservatives Fund Executive Director Matt Hoskins, who once worked for former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint. “It shows how determined people are to elect true conservative leaders who will stand up to the big spenders in both parties.”

The group said the average contribution made by its members to each candidate was $37.

The group bills itself as an “independent, grassroots organization that helps elect true conservative leaders to the U.S. Senate.”

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