McConnell Opponent Surprised To Learn He Spoke At Cockfighting Rally

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April 2, 2014 2:44 p.m.

Republican Matt Bevin, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) tea party primary challenger, spoke at a cockfighting rally which he said he thought was an event advocating more general states rights.

On Bevin’s campaign itinerary he listed a Saturday morning event at The Arena in Corbin, Kentucky as a “states rights rally.” But according to organizers, the event was very clearly a pro-cockfighting event.

“I was the first person to speak and then I left,” Bevin said according to the News Journal of Corbin, Kentucky. “They knew I was here. They asked if I would be interested in speaking. I’m a politician running statewide, any chance I get to speak to a few hundred people I’m going to take it.

Bevin said his understand of the event was that it was a rally focused on federal government overreach. According to Michael Devereaux, director of the Gamefowl Defense Network, the event was focused on how to legalize cockfighting through the Democratic process.

“The movement is about changing the law, not breaking the law,” Devereaux said.

Cockfighting, surprisingly, has been a topic that’s come up in the Kentucky Republican primary. In February, a group associating with cockfighting promised revenge against McConnell in response to his vote in favor of a major farm bill in January, a provision of which made cockfighting a federal misdemeanor with a punishment of as much as a year in prison and a fine of $100,000.

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