Two years after taking office, Gov. Matt Bevin continues to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for his 2015 gubernatorial campaign, often from people he has appointed to state jobs, lobbyists, and contractors doing business with the state.
Kentucky’s Republican governor raised $718,547 this year for his still-active 2015 campaign committee, largely at a series of fundraising events hosted for him, and he banked much of that, according to a campaign finance report he filed Friday.
The $4.12 million that Bevin personally loaned his 2015 campaign remained unpaid, according to the report. However, his campaign has now settled his other remaining debts, including bills to various out-of-state firms for polling, consulting and advertising. Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton belatedly was reimbursed $6,943 for her 2015 mileage.
As of Dec. 1, the governor’s 2015 campaign had $763,070 in cash on hand, according to documents filed with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance.
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Bevin must use money remaining in his 2015 campaign account to repay the old loans to himself, said KREF executive director John Steffen. However, he also could file a letter of intent to run for re-election in 2019 and begin raising funds for that race in a new and separate campaign account, Steffen said.
Bevin’s campaign raised most of its money at 14 events, hosted by Bob McAlpin of Somerset; Billy Harper of Paducah; H.E. “Beaver” Corder of Science Hill; Freddie Hilpp of Lebanon; Charles E. Price of Louisville; Anthony Campbell of Richmond; Jim Ellis of Louisville; Barry Metcalf of Richmond; David Clement of Henderson; David Haydon of Bardstown; Dennis Jordan of Bimble; Stephen Poe of Louisville; Robert Werner of Madisonville; Terry Hamby of Cadiz; and the Kentucky Association of Highway Contractors, based in Frankfort.
Most donors gave the maximum allowable $1,000 per election, although some gave to both his 2015 primary and general election campaigns.
As is common with sitting governors, many of the hosts and donors were people with a financial stake in influencing the Bevin administration.
For example, one of the hosts, Price, is — according to an October story in Kentucky Today — a shareholder and board member of Braidy Industries, which is planning an aluminum rolling mill for northeastern Kentucky with a $15 million state investment committed by Bevin. Price’s event raised $68,000 for Bevin. Nate Haney, who once worked for Bevin as deputy secretary of his cabinet, and who joined Braidy in August as senior vice president of government relations, according to WDRB, gave $1,000.
Some of Bevin’s cabinet members and sometimes their spouses also donated, including Secretary of the Executive Cabinet Scott Brinkman, Energy and Environment Secretary Charles Snavely, Public Protection Secretary David Dickerson and Labor Secretary Derrick Ramsey.