Conservative leader and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) has endorsed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellProgressive group changes tone on Kaine Trump hits Kaine on TPP: He supports a 'job killer' Clinton maps out first 100 days MORE (R-Ky.) in his primary, touting his work "fighting on the front lines" against President Obama.
"I’m proud to endorse Mitch today and stand next to him for the next fifteen months until he is re-elected in Kentucky and then elected the next Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate," he added.
McConnell faces a primary challenge from local businessman Matt Bevin, who has been picking up steam with Tea Party activists locally and nationwide, earning the endorsements of a number of Kentucky Tea Party figures and the conservative group the Madison Project.
But McConnell, too, has picked up a number of notable local and national conservative endorsements, including the support of Tea Party darling Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulWhat to watch for on Day 2 at the GOP convention Cyber squatters sitting on valuable VP web addresses Majority of GOP senators to attend Trump convention MORE (R-Ky.), and now Huckabee.
The former Arkansas governor holds considerable clout among conservatives and evangelical Christians, and has been known to endorse both incumbents and challengers in primaries.
This cycle, he's also backed Sen. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderGOP senators to donors: Stick with us regardless of Trump Overnight Healthcare: Mysterious new Zika case | Mental health bill in doubt | Teletraining to fight opioids Hopes dim for mental health deal MORE in Tennessee, another incumbent Republican facing a possible primary challenge.
Last cycle, Huckabee endorsed former Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) in his bid for Senate, and reaffirmed that support after Akin made controversial comments concerning rape and pregnancy that caused other Republicans to abandon him and ultimately contributed to his defeat.
Democrats are charging that, for that reason, the McConnell campaign's embrace of Huckabee, while planning to roll out a group of female supporters from across Kentucky on Friday, amounts to "hypocrisy."
"Mitch McConnell’s shameless embrace of a Todd Akin sympathizer with a record that’s as dangerous for women as his own on the same day he launches a women’s group for his campaign sends a message loud and clear to the women of Kentucky: Mitch McConnell is the walking, talking embodiment of everything that’s wrong with Washington and a dangerous hypocrite who has no interest in fighting for them,” said Justin Barasky, a spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.