U.S. Republican Senate candidate Matt Bevin’s itinerary listed a Saturday’s morning event at The Arena in Corbin as a “states rights rally,” but event organizers say the sole purpose was to build support to legalize cockfighting in Kentucky.
Bevin addressed the crowd of about 700 people at the event, which was closed to the media.
“The movement is about changing the law, not breaking the law,” said Michael Devereaux, Director of the Gamefowl Defense Network, the organizer of the event. He said the entire rally dealt with how to use the democratic process to do so.
Under current state law, cockfighting is illegal and is a misdemeanor offense and is seen by advocates as one that is not enforced enough.
After attending the 66th Annual Lincoln Day Banquet later in the evening, Bevin said he did not realize the event had anything to do with cockfighting.
“I was the first person to speak and then I left,” Bevin said. “They knew I was here. They asked if I would be interested in speaking. I’m a politician running statewide, any chance I get to speak to a few hundred people I’m going to take it.”