Jul 26, 2013
09:59 AMConnecticut Today
Connecticut Bell Factory Owner Trying to Unseat Mitch McConnell in Kentucky Senate Race
Catherine Avalone/The Middletown Press
Senator Richard Blumenthal speaks with Matthew G. Bevin, president of the Bevin Brother's Manufacturing, after touring the 180 year old bell factory in late May 2012, after 130 year old structure was destroyed by fire.
Matt Bevin, owner of the of East Hampton's signature bell factory has taken on a new challenge: he is running as a Republican candidate for U.S. senator from Kentucky.
Bevin is trying to un-seat arguably the most powerful Republican in the senate, minority leader Mitch McConnell in 2014.
Bevin, who lives with his family in Louisville, announced his candidacy Wednesday. And almost immediately, Bevin’s efforts to save the bell company have become an issue in the Kentucky race.
Following the massive 2012 Memorial Day weekend fire that gutted the historic factory, Bevin sought to rally support from the state and even the federal government to rebuild “Belltown’s” last bell company.
But after he announced his candidacy Wednesday morning, Bevin’s efforts to rebuild the fire-ravaged Bevin Bros. Manufacturing Co. — which have made him a folk hero to many in town — came under attack from McConnell.
Bevin received a $200,000 federal grant to help him reopen in an interim manufacturing site and save the jobs of long-time workers. But in an ad aired Wednesday on Kentucky television stations, McConnell attacked the grant as nothing more than just another taxpayer-funded bailout.
The ad labels Bevin as “Bailout Bevin.”
In the wake of the fire, Bevin — a former Army officer — also emerged as an effective speaker on the issue of reviving America’s dwindling manufacturing base.
Bevin’s introduction into the race comes as political storm clouds are gathering around McConnell, a five-term incumbent.