Republican Senate candidate Matt Bevin spoke at a rally in Kentucky meant to build support for legal cockfighting.
The tea party-backed challenger to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says the event was billed as a states’ rights rally. Bevin told WHAS-AM in Louisville that he doesn’t condone cockfighting but says he supports the rights of people to gather to discuss issues.
Bevin noted that some of this country’s founders were cockfighting enthusiasts. The pastime pits roosters outfitted with spurs against each other in a fight to the death. Spectators place wagers on the outcome. The practice is a misdemeanor in Kentucky.
Craig Davis attended the rally at Corbin, Ky., last Saturday and says Bevin never brought up cockfighting during his speech.
Animal-rights activists are denouncing Bevin’s attendance at the rally.
Bevin Calls Cockfighting, Dogfighting Part Of “Heritage and Tradition”
LOUISVILLE, Ky– Tea party Republican Senate candidate Matt Bevin says while he doesn’t condone people fighting chickens or dogs, it’s their right to talk about whatever they want.
Bevin says he wasn’t told what he thought was a “states’ rights” rally he attended Saturday in Corbin was actually aimed at legalizing cockfighting.
Bevin says he’s “a big believer in states’ rights,” as well as the 1st Amendment. He says whatever people talked about after he left for Owensboro is their business.
Bevin claims, although he says he doesn’t condone either one, that cockfighting and dogfighting have a rich heritage and tradition that included participation in both by many of the country’s founding fathers.
Cockfighting is a misdemeanor in Kentucky, punishable by up to a year in jail. It’s a felony in 41 other states.
Matt Bevin speaks at his own rally in early January, at Louisville’s Galt House hotel. He appeared Thursday on the Terry Meiners Show, 84WHAS.