FRANKFORT — The campaign for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Bevin reported Thursday that it raised nearly $900,000 in contributions in the past three months and has more than 15,000 donors.
The Bevin campaign called its fundraising "a massive increase from last quarter," but it didn't say how much money it has in the bank.
Bevin, an investment manager in Louisville, raised only $220,000 between July 1 and Sept. 30 but tossed in $600,000 of his own money to kick-start his campaign.
He is challenging well-heeled incumbent Mitch McConnell in the Republican primary election in May.
"We are encouraged that so many Kentuckians and conservatives across the country are engaging in this U.S. Senate race and are aware of what's at stake for our party and America," Bevin said in a news release. "As voters learn more about Sen. McConnell's big-government record of voting for bailouts, tax increases, NSA spying and amnesty, they realize that the only Republican in Kentucky that can lose this Senate seat is the man who's currently in it."
McConnell has not yet filed his last-quarter campaign finance report with the Federal Election Commission. The deadline is Jan. 31.
Allison Moore, a spokeswoman for the McConnell campaign, accused Bevin of being a "stalking horse" for Democrats.
"When a single fundraising group from Washington, D.C., who is responsible for numerous Democratic Senate victories, raises more than half your money, it's a clear sign of a manufactured candidacy," Moore said in a statement. "For six months, Kentuckians have been trying to determine whether Matt Bevin's campaign is a stalking horse for Democrats or a payoff for a small cadre of consultants in Washington, and today we've learned that it's both."
Moore was referring to the Senate Conservatives Fund, a national group that supports Tea Party candidates. Politico reported this week that the group has invested nearly $1 million in Bevin's candidacy.
The group spent about $535,000 promoting Bevin's candidacy in Kentucky and passed along $450,000 to the Tea Party candidate.
McConnell reported raising $17.7 million for his campaign at the close of the third quarter last year, with $10 million of that in the bank.
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes has not yet reported how much money she raised during the fourth quarter. She raised more than McConnell in the third quarter, her first after she declared her candidacy on July 1.
Grimes reported raising $2.5 million between July 1 and Sept. 30, and McConnell reported about $2.3 million.
Jack Brammer: (502) 227-1198. Twitter: @BGPolitics. Blog: Bluegrasspolitics.bloginky.com.