(AP) Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell reached into the upper echelons of the tea party movement for a campaign manager to head his bid for re-election to a sixth term.
McConnell announced Thursday that he hired Jesse Benton — the tea party political operative who headed Texas Congressman Ron Paul’s presidential primary race — to oversee a campaign that’s still two years away and still lacking an opponent.
“We’re committed to running a presidential-level campaign in Kentucky, and that starts with a presidential campaign manager,” McConnell said in a statement. “Jesse is literally the best in the business at building and organizing conservative grassroots movements, and I’m thrilled he’s chosen to return to Kentucky to lead my campaign.”
Benton also headed the 2010 race of Paul’s son, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul. The Bowling Green eye surgeon rose from relative obscurity to win Kentucky’s other Senate seat over major candidates from both the Republican and Democratic parties.
McConnell had said he was looking for a campaign manager with experience running and winning races in Kentucky and who had a reputation for unifying people. His choice of Benton drew immediate accolades. Read more