Updated 4:09 p.m. ET, 7/23
(CNN) – As Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell fends off attacks from the left in his 2014 Senate campaign, the Kentucky senator will now have to beat back an opponent from the right. But McConnell wasted no time in pushing back against his new primary challenger
Louisville businessman Matt Bevin announced Wednesday he'll take on McConnell in a Republican primary, saying the five-term incumbent has been in office long enough.
"The people of Kentucky deserve better. The people of Kentucky are demanding better. And I'm in this race to give them an alternative," Bevin told CNN.
Bevin made a formal announcement Wednesday morning at an event at the state capital in Frankfort, Kentucky, the first of eight scheduled campaign stops across the state in the next three days.
Along with introducing himself to Bluegrass State voters, Bevin's also out with a new ad.
"Mitch McConnell has had a long career in politics, but after thirty years in Washington, is his leadership really the best we can do?" Bevin asks in the spot.
In the commercial, Bevin's also criticizes McConnell's record, putting his campaign in attack mode right off the bat. The spot hits McConnell's vote for the fiscal cliff deal at the beginning of the year when the Senate approved a measure raising the federal income tax rate for individuals making $400,000 and households making $450,000.
It also blasts the incumbent senator for his confirmation vote of two "liberal judges," referring to Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.
McConnell's campaign welcomed Bevin with an ad of their own.
The TV commercial, which the campaign says they're spending six-figures to run statewide, slams Bevin for receiving $200,000 in state grants after his Connecticut-based bell manufacturing company and a specialty gas cylinder manufacturer, in which he had minority stake, were destroyed in a 2012 fire. According to a local newspaper article at the time, Bevin's insurance barely helped out.
The ad hits Bevin for taking "taxpayer bailouts" despite saying he's a "conservative businessman." The spot also blasts Bevin for failing to pay $116,000 in taxes in recent years.
"Bailout Bevin: Not a Kentucky conservative," the 30-second ad concludes.
In the run-up to his campaign launch, Bevin met with Kentucky based grassroots conservative and tea party groups, as well as national outfits, including the Senate Conservatives Fund, a super PAC once associated with former Sen. Jim DeMint that's known for supporting successful challenges in GOP primaries.
Matt Hoskins, the group's executive director, said Wednesday morning they were "open" to supporting Bevin's campaign and they're "waiting to see if the grassroots in Kentucky unite behind him."
"The only way to defeat Mitch McConnell is to inspire the grassroots to rise up and fight for their freedoms," he continued. "We will also be watching to see if Mitch McConnell debates the issues or if he conducts a dirty smear campaign. If McConnell doesn't respect the voters enough to defend his own record, he doesn't deserve to be in the Senate."
McConnell, who's up for a sixth term in the Senate next year, already has a hefty war chest with close to $10 million cash on hand.
Asked how Bevin will compete against McConnell's haul, a source close to Bevin said the businessman would be able to self-finance to some extent.
But Bevin tells CNN money's not the issue.
This is not a race that's gonna be won on money. It is a race that is going to be run on the grass roots. All that money, it buys air time. But all that money does not make people turn out to the ballot box," added Bevin.
McConnell has an opponent on the Democratic side. Kentucky secretary of state Alison Lundergan Grimes announced her Senate bid earlier this month.