Kemper said he finds it "humorous" that Benton, in his email messages to Republicans across the state about the McConnell campaign, uses the greeting "Dear Patriot."
The latest example of that was last weekend, when Benton sent out an email about President Obama's proposals on gun control.
"Dear Patriot, You and I are literally surrounded," Benton wrote. "The gun grabbers in the Senate are about to launch an all-out assault on the Second Amendment."
Concern about McConnell by several Tea Party members intensified early this year after McConnell successfully brokered a fiscal cliff deal that killed planned income tax hikes on most Americans but postponed deep federal spending cuts.
Cathy Flaig, former president of the Northern Kentucky Tea Party, which covers Boone, Kenton, Campbell and Grant counties, said Tuesday her group "willingly signed" the news released issued by the United Kentucky Tea Party.
"Truth be told, most Tea Party members I know in Kentucky are polite to Sen. McConnell but not enthusiastic at all about him," said Flaig. "My question is, what has he done for Kentucky?"
An issue of strong interest in Northern Kentucky, she said, is the building of a new bridge across the Ohio River that will require tolls.
"The federal government can build a bridge in Afghanistan in eight months without tolls. Why not in Northern Kentucky?" she said. "He's Senate minority leader. It seems like he could do something to help Kentucky."
Flaig said she does not know whether the Tea Party will find a candidate next year to run against McConnell.
"I just know he's not as well liked as he thinks he is," she said.
Hans Marsen, state coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots in Elizabethtown, said he's aware that several Tea Party groups in Kentucky have formed the United Tea Party of Kentucky and issued Tuesday's news release.
"The bottom line is that, he can believe it or not, there is not great support for the senator among Tea Party members in Kentucky," Marsen said.
"It would be good to see an alternative to him on the 2014 Republican primary ballot," he said.
United Tea Party of Kentucky
Groups that endorsed Tuesday's news release by the United Tea Party of Kentucky include:
¡ö Boone County Tea Party
¡ö Bowling Green SOKY Tea Party Steering Committee
¡ö Campbell County Tea Party
¡ö Central Kentucky Tea Party Patriots of Hardin County
¡ö Grant County Tea Party
¡ö Heartland Tea Party, which includes members from LaRue, Adair, Green, Taylor, Casey and Nelson counties
¡ö Kenton County Tea Party
¡ö Maysville Tea Party
¡ö Nelson County Tea Party
¡ö Owensboro Tea Party
¡ö Take Back Kentucky, based in Grayson County
¡ö TeaPop (Tea Party of the People), based in Lexington
¡ö T.E.A. Party Patriots of Metcalfe County
¡ö Bullitt County Tea Party
¡ö Free State Project, a national political movement to recruit at least 20,000 people to move to New Hampshire to make the state a stronghold for libertarian ideas.
Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2013/01/22/2486321/several-kentucky-tea-party-groups.html#storylink=cpy