Bevin issues statement after WAVE 3 News cockfighting investigation

Published: Apr. 25, 2014 at 6:48 PM EDT|Updated: May. 2, 2014 at 6:48 PM EDT
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WAVE 3 News Investigative Reporter John Boel confronted Bevin about his appearance at the March...
WAVE 3 News Investigative Reporter John Boel confronted Bevin about his appearance at the March rally.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Following a WAVE 3 News Investigation about his attendance and comments at a March 29 gathering of so-called "activist cockfighters," Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Matt Bevin released a statement concerning his position on the issue of legalized cockfighting.

Bevin told investigative reporter John Boel in a story that aired April 24 on WAVE 3 News that he had been unaware the Henry County, KY event was a pro-cockfighting rally, although the speaker who immediately preceded Bevin at the event repeatedly referred to it as such.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Politicians at cockfighting rally captured on camera]

On Friday, after Boel's story received national attention, Bevin released the following statement:

"A month ago, I was invited to Corbin to discuss my candidacy at an event where folks had gathered to address various states' rights issues.

"I am genuinely sorry that my attendance at an event which, other than my comments, appears to have primarily involved a discussion of cockfighting, has created concern on the part of many Kentucky voters. I understand that concern.

"I am not and have never been, a supporter of cockfighting or any other forms of animal cruelty.

"I am, however, a strong supporter of states' rights. Regardless of any personal view on this issue, animal rights are not an enumerated power granted to the federal government under the Constitution. Such decisions should be left to each state to decide.

"I made the decision to speak at the gathering in Corbin because I support our 10th Amendment rights, not because I support or condone every topic discussed at the event."

Cockfighting, a blood sport between two roosters has long been illegal in Kentucky.

Bevin faces incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell in the May 20 Kentucky primary.

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