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At NRA Meeting, Bevin Sells His Re-Election Bid As Preview Of 2020 Presidential Race

Posted at 8:27 AM, Apr 27, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (LEX 18) — Gov. Matt Bevin shared the stage Friday with President Donald Trump and others in Indianapolis for the National Rifle Association’s annual leadership conference.

And the Republican governor used his time to drum up support as he campaigns for re-election.

In front of thousands of gun-rights activists, Bevin took a victory lap on the recent passing of a so-called constitutional carry law.

The new law allows Kentuckians to carry a gun — concealed — without a separate permit.

“I’m blessed to be the governor of a state where we value things like constitutional carry,” Bevin told the crowd. “It wasn’t that heavy a lift. It’s a shame it took us this many years.”

Though bill, though, was criticized by many, including some police, for creating new safety concerns.

At this week’s Democratic gubernatorial debate hosted by LEX 18 and “Hey Kentucky,” candidate Adam Edelen said that, if elected, he would change that law right away.

“Ladies and gentleman, the adoption by the legislature this session to eliminate conceal and carry and go to permitless carry will have the net impact of making Kentucky a Wild West state,” Edelen said.

In Indianapolis on Friday, Bevin didn’t have to sell the crowd on his agenda, but he did work to sell himself.

He positioned his re-election as a proxy for the 2020 presidential race.

“So if you happen to want to get engaged in the political process, to stand in the gap this year in advance of the big year next year, i know a guy,” he told the crowd.

Bevin announced he has raised more than $850,000 since announcing his re-election campaign, with $500,000 coming in this month alone.

Financial disclosure reports, expected to be posted sometime Saturday, will show how much of that haul came from his own money, as well as details on his opponents’ fundraising.