Mitch McConnell raises, spends more than $1 million in April

syoungman@herald-leader.comMay 8, 2014 

Matt Bevin, left, and Mitch McConnell

HERALD-LEADER

  • Grimes airs first TV ad

    Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes launched her first TV ad on Thursday with a 30-second spot aimed at military voters.

    The ad touts a 2013 Kentucky law that allows military and other overseas citizens to register to vote online. Grimes pushed for the bill after a trip to the Middle East in 2012.

    The campaign spent more than $100,000 on the ad, which began airing statewide on Thursday. The ad comes two days after Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell launched his own statewide ad touting his record of protecting jobs.

    Associated Press

  • Grimes airs first TV ad

    Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes launched her first TV ad on Thursday with a 30-second spot aimed at military voters.

    The ad touts a 2013 Kentucky law that allows military and other overseas citizens to register to vote online. Grimes pushed for the bill after a trip to the Middle East in 2012.

    The campaign spent more than $100,000 on the ad, which will begin airing statewide on Thursday. The ad comes two days after Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell launched his own statewide ad touting his record of protecting jobs.

    Associated Press

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's re-election campaign continued its pattern of big fundraising hauls and big spending in April, raising and spending more than $1 million.

McConnell continues to have a significant cash advantage over Republican primary opponent Matt Bevin and likely Democratic nominee Alison Lundergan Grimes, but the primary has been costly for McConnell.

Though the reporting deadline was Thursday, neither Grimes nor Bevin released their numbers, and they were not yet available on the Federal Election Commission website.

The McConnell campaign said its April spending was largely due to advanced purchases of television advertising time for the run-up to the May 20 primary.

The campaign said it had more than $10 million in cash on hand at the end of April, or about the same amount — $10.4 million — it reported at the end of the first quarter.

Bevin reported raising about $1.1 million in the first quarter of the year, but had less than $500,000 cash on hand.

Allison Moore, McConnell's spokeswoman, said in a statement Thursday that McConnell "is continuing to gain tremendous momentum from those who support his strong conservative leadership, his hard work on behalf of Kentucky and from those who want to ensure that a Majority Leader McConnell is setting the agenda in Washington next year."

At the end of March, McConnell had raised more than $22 million for his re-election.

The McConnell campaign has said the primary against Bevin has forced them to move up infrastructure spending, including "unprecedented voter contact," that would normally come later in a campaign.

Grimes had raised nearly $7.3 million through the end of the first quarter. Her campaign, which launched its first television ad Thursday, reported $5 million in cash on hand at the end of March.

With a $2.7 million haul in the first quarter, Grimes bested McConnell, who raised $2.4 million, for the second time since getting in the race.

On April 30, Grimes sent a fundraising email to supporters that said the campaign was $10,503 short of meeting its $150,000 "grassroots goal" for the month.

On May 3, Grimes wrote in another fundraising email that "thanks to an incredible last day push, we hit our online fundraising goal before the FEC deadline, capping an amazing April for our campaign."

Sam Youngman: (502) 875-3793. Twitter: @samyoungman. Blog: Bluegrasspolitics.bloginky.com.

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