Whitesburg KY

Grimes raises more money than Mitch

Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes raised more money than Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell since July, banking $2.5 million, a campaign aide said Tuesday.

Grimes political adviser Jonathan Hurst said the campaign received the cash form 13,327 individual contributors, showing what he described as widespread grassroots support for Kentucky’s 34-year-old secretary of state, recruited by Democratic leaders to take on McConnell.

McConnell reported last week that he had raised nearly $2.3 million since July, pushing his overall fundraising total to $17.7 million for the election cycle. Campaign manager Jesse Benton said that was McConnell’s strongest quarter yet.

“The record-breaking showing speaks to the overwhelming grassroots momentum behind Alison’s campaign and the fact that people across the political spectrum are tired of Mitch McConnell’s out-of-touch, failed leadership,” Hurst said in a statement. “Simply put, McConnell is not receiving a passing grade from Kentucky or this nation.”

McConnell, who had a long head start in raising money for his re-election, has nearly $10 million cash on hand. Hurst said Grimes has about $2 million cash on hand.

The McConnell campaign said Grimes’ fundraising total was underwhelming.

“… It is clear that Alison Lundergan Grimes is not as popular as she’d hoped to be among Democrat donors,” McConnell spokeswoman Allison Moore said.

McConnell, already Kentucky’s longest serving U.S. senator, is seeking reelection to a sixth term next year. Because of his leadership position in Washington and poll numbers that show him vulnerable in Kentucky, McConnell has become the top target for Democrats in the 2014 elections.

But unseating him is no easy chore in Kentucky, which has a track record of supporting Republicans in federal elections despite being predominantly Democratic by registration.

McConnell primary challenger Matt Bevin, a Louisville businessman, reported last week that he raised $222,000 since July, and that he loaned his campaign $600,000.

The Bevin campaign boasted that the amount raised is nearly on par with the initial contributions received by tea party Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida who won election in 2010.

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