Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, in a fight to retain his Kentucky Senate seat, is getting a boost from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the form of a new ad playing up the Republican's efforts to save the state's coal industry that's under fire from President Obama's environmental regulators.

The Chamber on Monday said the ad is part of its voter education campaign. It is the first ad for a friendly senator up for election in 2014.

“The people of Kentucky have a true conservative champion for American free enterprise in Senator Mitch McConnell. McConnell has a 92 percent lifetime score with the U.S. Chamber. We appreciate his efforts to fight back against the war on coal, and to protect Kentucky jobs from the harmful policies coming from Washington, D.C.,” said Chamber National Political Director Rob Engstrom.

“With America’s job creators facing historic uncertainty, our number one focus is on jobs and growth. The U.S. Chamber is committed to ensuring voters have a clear choice in 2014 between a leader who stands for American free enterprise and those who stand in the way," added Engstrom.

McConnell is facing a Tea Party challenge in the GOP primary and is tied in a poll with Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, a Democrat, in the general election race.

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at