Matt Bevin

Republican Matt Bevin will be in the tiny community of Fancy Farm next week when politicians gather for a heated afternoon of stump speeches.

Bevin, a newcomer to the U.S. Senate race, will share the stage with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and the top Democratic challenger, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes on Aug. 3.

Though the election isn't until next year, the campaign is in full swing. TV ads have been running for weeks already.

One of the Fancy Farm organizers, Mark Wilson, said Bevin was confirmed as a speaker after he announced his candidacy on Wednesday. Two of Kentucky's highest-profile Democrats, Gov. Steve Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson, won't attend the event.

The political speeches are part of a church picnic that doubles as a fundraiser for St. Jerome Parish. The annual event typically draws some 10,000 people and generates about $250,000.

In addition to fighting off Democratic challengers, Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell will also have to to defeat at least one fellow Republican next year.

An aide to Louisville businessman and Tea Party activist Matt Bevin distributed a news advisory Tuesday announcing stops on a statewide tour announcing his candidacy for Senate.

Bevin's entry into the race could force a shift in the McConnell campaign, which had been concentrating entirely on Democratic opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky's 34-year-old Secretary of State.

The move by Bevin to challenge McConnell reflects a splintering of the tea party movement in Kentucky. Many activists, including Kentucky's junior U.S. Senator, Rand Paul of Bowling Green, have already pledged their support to McConnell's 2014 re-election efforts.

Not All Tea Party Groups Think Alike Re: McConnell in '14

McConnell’s re-election effort is highlighting divisions between some Kentucky tea party organizations, and national tea party groups backing the U.S. Senate Minority Leader.

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