WKU Public Radio News Staff
Mon April 15, 2013
McConnell Fundraising Nears $13 Million for Re-Election
U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell has banked nearly $13 million for his re-election campaign, including more than $1.8 million since January, according to a financial report filed with the Federal Election Commission on Monday.
The FEC filing also shows he still has more than $8.6 million on hand.
"Mitch's popularity and deep, longstanding support make him the most prolific fundraiser in the game," said campaign manager Jesse Benton. "We are building the best statewide campaign America has ever seen, and will work hard to make Kentucky proud."
The latest report shows McConnell with an enormous head start over any potential rivals, although no serious challengers have stepped forward so far.
Actress Ashley Judd had considered running, but announced late last month that she won't. Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, a rising star within the state Democratic Party, has said she is now considering getting into the race. But she hasn't indicated a deadline for making a decision.
Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear said Monday he continues to get encouragement from supporters to run against McConnell. But Beshear, in his second and final term as governor, told reporters he won't seek election to any other office.
Instead, Beshear said he is encouraging others to take a serious look at the race because he believes Kentuckians are ready to make a change if Democrats can provide "an appropriate alternative."
"I sincerely believe that Sen. McConnell is very vulnerable," Beshear said. "I think that people in Kentucky and, honestly, people throughout America are sick and tired of most of the folks in Washington right now because it's turned into a place where nothing gets done and where everybody simply yells at each other and raises money to stay in office and feather their own nests."
Defeating McConnell would be the Democrats' biggest prize of the 2014 election. His seat is one of 14 that Republicans are defending while Democrats try to hold onto 21, hoping to retain or add to their 55-45 edge.