Businessman Matt Bevin, the Republican running to the right of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), said last year that he was "disheartened" by what he saw as a growing "ideological divide" in America.
In a January 2012 e-mail obtained by Post Politics, Bevin informed supporters that he would not challenge Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth, who represents a Louisville-based district. In his note, the Republican decried what he described as growing gap in ideology and cited it as a reason he considered running.
"Over the course of the past months and years, I have becoming increasingly disheartened by the widening ideological divide that we face at every jurisdictional level of our society," he wrote. "This division threatens to fray the fabric of our nation’s future stability in every sense of that word. It could well be argued, that it already has. As a nation, the struggle between these differing visions for our future is exacting a heavy price."
As a candidate for Senate, Bevin has emphasized a contrast in ideology between himself and McConnell. In a side-by-side comparison on his campaign Web site, Bevin is described as a "Conservative Republican," while McConnell is labeled "Republican." In a July interview with Bloomberg News, Bevin said of McConnell, "I’m not going to match him dollar-for-dollar; I’m going to match him on ideology." And he told the Associated Press last month McConnell "is a leader in name only, and the people who are true conservatives are fed up with it."
When asked about Bevin's e-mail, a spokeswoman for him said he has long believed that Washington needs new, principled leaders.
"As Matt said then and believes now, the current leadership in Washington and the poisonous lack of principle threatens our Republic," said Bevin spokeswoman Sarah Durand. "We need real leaders who will work hard to make Washington work again for all Americans, not just the small elite D.C. class."
Here is Bevin's complete e-mail:
From: Matt Bevin <firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>>
Date: Tue, 10 Jan 2012 02:11:35 -0500
To: "<Undisclosed recipients:;>"
Subject: Decision regarding KY-3
Dear friends and mentors,
Please forgive the rather impersonal, “broadcast” nature of this note, but I wanted to reach each recipient in a timely and simultaneous manner.
Each of you has been a source of inspiration, information, encouragement and support as I have wrestled with the decision about whether to run in 2012 for the seat representing Kentucky’s 3rd congressional district. Words cannot adequately express my gratitude for the generosity of time and wisdom that you have shared with me. Over the course of the past months and years, I have becoming increasingly disheartened by the widening ideological divide that we face at every jurisdictional level of our society. This division threatens to fray the fabric of our nation’s future stability in every sense of that word. It could well be argued, that it already has.
As a nation, the struggle between these differing visions for our future is exacting a heavy price. At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, the long term survival of our republic is quite literally at stake. I am reminded of the words most often attributed to Edmund Burke (born, incidentally, 283 years ago this week), with which he noted: “All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.”
Doing nothing is clearly not an acceptable option for those who have been blessed with the ability to step up. Many (including many of you) have already heeded the call to serve and are manning the ranks.
As a young military officer, I learned a number of things that have held me in good stead through the years. Among them is this…It is not advisable, or even feasible, to fight and win every possible battle in the pursuit of victory at war. At times, a battle is best conceded, or avoided, in order to maintain focus on the ultimate goal.
And so it is, that I now find myself torn…Torn by a sense of obligation to a responsibility and a constituency that exceeds my immediate and current circle of influence…Torn also by a devotion to my role as a husband and a father of a young and growing family…Torn, but certain, that above all, the ancient words found in Ecclesiastes 3:1 are as true as they are timeless: “To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven.”
After hours of discussions with many of you and with my family, after much prayer and reflection, after weighing all the variables to the best of my ability and after taking the full measure of the collective insight that has been so graciously given to me in recent months, one thing has become clear… This is not the time and this is not the race for me to throw my proverbial hat into the political arena.
I am grateful to each of you for your service, past and present, in both the private and public sectors. I look forward to working with you in various ways in the days ahead, in order that we might fully reclaim the heritage of liberty that was hard won for our benefit by those who preceded us.
My political season is not now, but I believe that it will come…I look forward to your continued guidance and support until and when that day arrives.