The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has been signaling it's interest in supporting "pro-business" candidates in Republican primaries in the 2014 cycle, has launched a pro-coal television advertisement on behalf of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The Kentucky Republican is facing a primary challenge from tea party-backed Matt Bevin, a businessman turned first-time politician, seeking to gain ground against McConnell for not doing enough to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law, among other things. Bevin is trailing McConnell heavily in both the polls and fundraising, but the business community has said they will be more active in primaries in an attempt to ward off wins by less seasoned politicians - mostly tea party candidates - who many in the business community blame for recklessly causing the federal government shutdown that recently dealt a blow to the economy.
The ad highlights McConnell's pro-coal stance, without mention of Bevin or McConnell's likely general election opponent, Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes.
"Coal means jobs in Kentucky," a narrator says in the 30-second spot. "McConnell is making sure our coal industry remains strong. That's Mitch McConnell, a fighter who never lets Kentucky down."
The 2014 Senate race is expected to be one of the most hotly contested in the country, as Democrats try and knock off the Republican Senate leader and McConnell navigates a race with political pressure from both his right and left flanks.