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FreedomWorks endorses McConnell primary foe. Senate race tightening?

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Mike Lawrence/The Gleaner/AP

(Read caption) Senate candidate Matt Bevin speaks at a meet and greet, Jan. 14, in Henderson, Ky. The Louisville businessman is running against Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky's GOP primary next May.

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The conservative political group FreedomWorks on Wednesday endorsed Matt Bevin, the businessman who’s mounting a primary challenge to Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R) of Kentucky.

The nod wasn’t a shock. Mr. Bevin is a tea party favorite who is running to Senator McConnell’s right, and FreedomWorks is among the party activist groups trying to rid the GOP of what they consider to be Gumby-flexible establishment Republicans.

McConnell, who helped broker the deal that ended last year’s government shutdown, is high on the FreedomWorks hit list. As it endorsed Bevin, the group published a list of what it terms McConnell’s top 10 worst votes, which in its eyes include his vote in 2003 to pass President George W. Bush’s Medicare Part D proposal; his 2008 vote to pass the TARP financial bailout bill; and his 2013 legislative maneuvering, which reopened the federal government and allowed Democrats to lever Obamacare implementation funding back into the federal budget.

FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe said in an interview with the Louisville Courier Journal that his group's political action committee is ready to put as much as $500,000 into the Bevin race.

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