In Connecticut he's known for making bells but now Matt Bevin is making a run for political office.
On Wednesday Bevin, the owner of East Hampton's famous Bevin Brothers Bell company, kicked off his campaign for senate in Kentucky. He's running as a tea party candidate as he tries to defeat Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell in the 2014 primary.
"Clearly our current leaders have failed us and that is why I am here today," Bevin told the crowd in Lexington, KY on Wednesday.
Last year fire destroyed the century old factory. A new temporary operation is up and running in East Hampton. The state did step in to try and help rebuild the business.
It's that fire and subsequent $200,000 grant in Connecticut that has become fodder for the McConnell campaign in Kentucky.
A McConnell ad already running on television stations in Kentucky is accusing Bevin of taking a bailout from the state.
In East Hampton, which is affectionately known as Belltown, people said they were glad the state stepped in to help the company. All employees were rehired back after the fire.
"That's good," Dick Mooney, a Main Street barber shop owner, said. "He's employing the local people. These are not strangers. These are people employed before."
Others were surprised to hear Bevin was even running for office in the first place.
"I'm quite surprised," Bob Berlin, an East Hampton resident, said. "I know he wants to build the business back up here."
McConnell is a powerful figure in Washington, D.C. and a 28-year veteran of the senate.
Political observers say the fact that McConnell is already running negative ads means his campaign is worried that Bevin could be a serious threat.