In Kentucky's Third Congressional District race, Republican challenger Brooks Wicker continues to trail Democratic incumbent John Yarmuth by a huge fundraising margin.
According to federal election financing records Wicker filed another abysmal fundraising total while Yarmuth increased his contributions. The GOP challenger raised a mere $2,600 during the second quarter compared to $184,000 raised by the Yarmuth campaign.
In the first quarter Wicker raised $3,000 while Yarmuth garnered $80,000.
Wicker campaign spokesman Josh Weill says the campaign got a late start, but points to fundraising events with Papa John's founder John Schnatter as a sign that things are starting to turn around.
“We’re never going to out spend John Yarmuth. That’s not going to happen. We don’t need to have more money than he does. We just need to have enough and I feel confident that we will have enough when the time comes,” he says.
In the past, Wicker has decried GOP leaders and voters for ignoring his race. But GOP operatives and other sources in the Jefferson County Republican Party have quietly begun questioning if Wicker has enough to mount a credible campaign.
The money gap is even wider when looking at the candidates coffers where Yarmuth has a commanding lead with over a half a million in cash on hand compared to a mere $2,100 held by the Wicker campaign.
Yarmuth campaign manager Elizabeth Sawyer says they remain focused on the general election no matter the fundraising totals.
“Right now we are focused on getting our message out there and promoting the congressman's record. We saw the Wicker campaign's second quarter report and we don't know when it will become a race. But we don't want to be caught off guard if it becomes a race,” she says. “In a world of Citizens United that could happen at anytime and there's plenty of time left.”