Politics

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jack Conway has a major financial advantage over Republican Matt Bevin, who has struggled to raise funds and has loaned his campaign $995,100 during the general election period.

Bevin, a Louisville businessman, loaned his campaign $825,000 in the days after last month the Republican Governors Association announced it would stop airing ads for his campaign, raising questions about the strength of the campaign and Bevin’s ability to raise money.

During the heated four-way Republican primary, Bevin loaned his campaign $2.55 million, about 95 percent of all the money he had on hand for the race.

Bevin’s campaign currently has $674,427 after raising $1.7 million and spending $1 million.

Conway’s campaign has $2.3 million after raising $6.1 million and spending $3.8 million.

According to the most recent Bluegrass Poll, Conway has a slight lead in the race with 42 percent. Bevin is close behind at 37 percent and independent candidate Drew Curtis has 7 percent.

Curtis has $1,942 on hand after raising $42,909 and spending $42,269.

Democratic candidates for other statewide offices also hold financial edges in all the statewide races except for agriculture commissioner and treasurer.

In the race for state treasurer, Republican Alison Ball, a bankruptcy lawyer, has $67,968 in cash on hand after raising $90,724 and spending $22,756. She’s running against Democratic Rep. Rick Nelson, of Middlesboro, who has $9,505 after raising $56,552 and spending $47,046.

The recent Bluegrass Poll showed Ball with a three-point lead over Nelson after a July poll showed her with a two-point deficit.

Republican Rep. Ryan Quarles, of Georgetown has $159,006 left for his bid to be the next agriculture commissioner. He’s raised $200,576 and spent $41,569. His Democratic opponent, Jean-Marie Lawson Spann, had not filed her finance report as of Thursday morning.

Quarles currently leads Spann, 34 to 31 percent.

In the race for attorney general, Democratic candidate Andy Beshear has $742,085 after raising $2.7 million and spending $1.9 million.

Republican candidate Whitney Westerfield has $110,321 after raising $151,032 and spending $40,710.

Despite the fundraising disadvantage, Westerfield is tied with Beshear, the son of Gov. Steve Beshear, according to the Bluegrass Poll. Westerfield’s bid has been buoyed by $2.2 million in support from the Republican Attorneys General Association in the form of TV advertising.

Democratic State Auditor Adam Edelen has $557,599 in his bid for reelection after raising $774,590 and spending $216,990.

Edelen is in a close race with Republican Rep. Mike Harmon of Danville, who has just $9,532 cash on hand after raising $28,968 and spending $19,436

Democratic Secretary of State Allison Lundergan Grimes’ reelection campaign has $505,125 after raising $615,131 and spending  $110,006. She holds an eight point lead over Republican Steve Knipper, who has $5,954 after raising $31,413 and spending $25,459.

 

Ryland Barton is the Capitol bureau chief for Kentucky Public Radio.