Republican congressional candidate Brooks Wicker is defending a poor fundraising report that gives Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth an immense lead in contributions.

The Federal Election Commission shows in the first three months of the year Yarmuth raised over $80,000 compared to Wicker’s mere $3,000 total in the race for Kentucky’s Third Congressional District seat. Fundraising documents also indicate most of the GOP challenger’s money came from a personal loan and political observers say the report underscores Wicker won’t be much of a challenge in the general election this year.

Wicker told WFPL he hasn’t had trouble fundraising because he hasn’t been actively soliciting contributions, adding it’s still early in the race.

“And unlike my opponent I have to work for a living,” he says. “My focus has been on getting my business squared away, considering I had no opponent in the primary. That gave me the luxury of being able to spend he time to do that so that from this point on we can focus on fundraising and on the campaign.”

The biggest lead for Yarmuth is cash on-hand.

The Louisville accountant has only $634 in his campaign coffers compared to the congressman’s hefty $432,000 reservoirs. And Yarmuth has a primary opponent who has not raised any money thus far.

Wicker has had conversations with the National Republican Congressional Committee about the race, but the group hasn’t promised any resources thus far. But he says GOP backers will turn around after the Kentucky Derby weekend and support his candidacy despite a long shot status.

“We had an uphill struggle to begin with and it’s going to be a fight no matter what. With the registration discrepancy and of course redistricting did us no favors, but it’s a long way to November,” he says. “I think what you need to do is look at the June report.”