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Tea Party Elects Its First Governor – Matt Bevin of Kentucky

Matt Bevin, the Tea Party-backed candidate who two years ago took on Senator Mitch McConnell in the Kentucky Republican Primary, and last spring won a contentious Republican Primary for the nomination for Governor, has defied the pundits and won the General Election for the Bluegrass State’s highest office. 

Matt BevinWhen the Republican establishment’s poisonous Mitch McConnell defeated Matt Bevin in the 2014 Senate Primary Karl Rove used the defeat as evidence the Tea Party was dead and lauded the result of McConnell’s multimillion dollar content-free trashing of Bevin, calling the incumbent Senator’s campaign masterful and superb. 

Other establishment Republican pundits were equally dismissive when Bevin defeated James Comer, Kentucky’s incumbent Republican Agriculture Commissioner, and former Louisville city councilman Hal Heiner, to win the gubernatorial primary. The Republican establishment dismissed Bevin’s grassroots-powered campaign and predicted a Democratic win and the loss of a winnable governor’s race. 

We wonder what Rove will say today now that Matt Bevin has been elected Governor? 

Naturally the political elite will be looking for ways to explain Bevin’s victory that do not involve embracing his conservative positions, but the reality is that after his narrow primary win Bevin didn’t back down from the conservative positions that powered his run in the primary. 

"We will stand on our state sovereignty, we will do what is in our best interest, we will say to the federal government, who tries to bribe us to do what is not in our best interest with federal dollars ... we will say `keep your dollars, keep your suggestions,' and we will do what is best for the people of Kentucky," he said after his primary win. 

And he stuck to that conservative platform throughout a campaign that saw the establishment and liberal media regularly predict his demise. 

As the Louisville Courier-Journal (which endorsed his opponent) noted, Bevin called for an austere budget to pay down Kentucky’s state worker pension program’s unfunded liability, and he promised to move new teachers over to a 401k type program rather than a traditional pension. And as governor, Bevin promised to do away with the Kynect Obamacare portal, rescind the state’s Medicaid expansion and push for the Kentucky General Assembly to institute pro-business policies like right-to-work and lawsuit reform. 

Bevin regularly hammered his Democratic opponent on the failures of Obamacare and the disaster Obama’s “clean energy” executive mandate would wreak on Kentucky’s coal industry – and its traditionally Democrat-leaning workforce. 

While Bevin originally ran largely on economic issues, the Louisville Courier-Journal observed that his campaign pivoted toward social issues as the gay marriage issue “blew up” in Kentucky with a federal judge sending Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis to jail because of her refusal to issue same-sex marriage licenses. Bevin called for Gov. Steve Beshear to issue an executive order freeing Davis of the responsibility of issuing the licenses and had his photo taken with Davis. 

Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, which represented Davis in her legal battles, also claimed that Bevin's victory was due in part to the Davis saga. 

“The people favor traditional values and marriage, and they are tired of the political elites represented by Governor Beshear who are out of touch with ordinary, God-loving citizens," he said. 

With 100 percent of the vote counted, Bevin led Conway with 53 percent of the vote compared to the Democrat's 44 percent - a near landslide. 

Independent Drew Curtis got almost 4 percent. 

Bevin’s near-landslide win powered Republicans to a virtual sweep of Kentucky’s constitutional offices, and made Bevin the first governor from Louisville in a century and his running mate, Lt. Gov.-elect Jenean Hampton, became the first African-American to win statewide office in Kentucky. 

The victory was broad and deep with Bevin and Hampton winning all but 14 of Kentucky's 120 counties, including stalwart Democratic counties like Pike and Woodford, according to The Louisville Courier-Journal. 

Republican State Senate President Robert Stivers called Bevin's win a "total repudiation" of the Democratic Party in Kentucky as well as Obama's policies on coal and healthcare. 

Don’t believe establishment media stories about the death of the Tea Party movement.  

It should be no big surprise when a Tea Party candidate who is outspent by millions loses, as Matt Bevin did in the race two years ago against Mitch McConnell. The story the establishment media isn’t telling you is that even when a Tea Party candidate loses a big race down ballot limited government constitutional conservative candidates continue to win, and when a limited government constitutional conservative like Matt Bevin heads the ticket, and runs as an unabashed conservative, it can lead to a virtual wipeout of the liberal establishment.

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Matt Bevin Victory

Yes, we elected Matt Bevin here in Kentucky. Matt is a tea party member (though I wouldn't call him a "activist" as such). Matt most certainly is not a member of the ruling elite in statewide Republican politcs. The mutual dis-stain between Matt and the GOP elite (including its leader, Mitch McConnell) is well known. As for the Courier Journal not endorsing Matt, that's a given. In fact, the CJ not endorsing conservatives is routine to the point where it is a running joke throughout the state.

It was a dirty race, with Democrat nominee Jack Conway's camp throwing most of the dirt. Conway raised more money than Bevin. Had more endorsements too, but he ran a flawed campaign which in many ways reflected the style of the Democrat nominee. The Independent, Drew Curtis, ran with little money and no media coverage and still got 4% of the vote. Many of the rising stars in the Democrat Party also went down in flames.

But what was truly remarkable about the election, is that another Tea Party member, Jenean M. Hampton, was elected as Lt. Governor. She is the first woman elected to that position and the first ever black elected to any statewide office. In addition, Republicans nearly sweep every single statewide office yesterday. Another first. Only two seats weren't taken, the Democrat victory was razo thin.

Kentucky has been trending Republican for more than a decade. Even the majority of our Democrats are more conservative than some Republicians in other states. Matt was only the second Republican to win the Governorship in over 40 years. Now, it's up to Matt and the new slate of Republican candidates to deliver.

TEA Party members and/or supporters are alive and growing

Do not be misled by President Obama, Capitol Hill Democrats, and/or RINO Republicans.

The Conservative TEA Party members and/or supporters are alive and growing in an effort to save our Constitutional freedoms based on Judeo-Christian values and for stopping our ‘out-of-control spending’.

“When the Republican establishment’s poisonous Mitch McConnell defeated Matt Bevin in the 2014 Senate Primary Karl Rove used the defeat as evidence the Tea Party was dead and lauded the result of McConnell’s multimillion dollar content-free trashing of Bevin, calling the incumbent Senator’s campaign masterful and superb.”

It will not be a day too soon

when I finally hear that KR has returned to Texas to sit on his front porch and pontificate! I am so tired of his arrogant posture against all things conservative!

Americans all across the country have spoken this month...and just wait until we have the chance to support a TRUE conservative in 2016...it will be the equivalent of Network's "get out of your chairs, open your windows and yell 'I'm not going to take it any more" - that is, IF, and that is a BIG IF, the GOPe doesn't succeed in putting forth one more RINO in the final election. IF that happens, all bets are off - I envision conservatives staying home in the millions.

So...Mr. Rover and I can't believe she is actually behind a microphone on television, Meagan McCain, and all the other so-called conservative pundits...go home if you can't support a REAL DIFFERENCE in presidential candidates. When voters are offered a Democrat or a Democrat Lite - it has been proven over and over again, they will choose the Democrat!

WHY can't the pundits realize that when every conservative out here working a 40-hour (or more) week can?????