FRANKFORT — Gov. Steve Beshear's re-election campaign has raised more than $4.1 million since May, about four times more than Republican foe David Williams raised during that period.
Beshear's campaign reported having $1.07 million in cash on hand for the most recent filing period — May 17 to Oct. 7, according to disclosure forms filed Wednesday with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance. The campaign said it has purchased $1 million of television advertisements for the final weeks of the campaign. Election Day is Nov. 8.
Williams reported raising $1.02 million for the general election and had $261,802.50 in cash on hand. Williams is running with Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer.
Beshear and his running mate, former Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, have raised more than $9.5 million for the entire campaign.
The campaign of Williams, who is president of the state Senate, issued no comment on the fund-raising in the governor's race.
Williams faced two opponents in the May primary. Beshear had no opposition.
Williams transferred $96,610 from his primary campaign to the general election campaign.
Williams' report showed he gave $11,175 to his own campaign. Contributors included $1,000 each from his wife, Robyn Williams, and his father-in-law, Russell County businessman Terry Stephens.
Independent candidate Gatewood Galbraith of Lexington reported raising $165,712. About $60,000 of that came this reporting period.
Galbraith, who is running with Dea Riley of Frankfort, has spent $163,303, and reported having $2,515 in cash on hand. The report said his campaign's total debts are $179,181. Galbraith also reported he loaned $107,373 to his campaign.
Nicole Bartlett, a spokeswoman for Galbraith, said of Beshear's large amount of cash, "No one bought is ever bought just once.
"This is the same old pay-to-play that plagues Kentucky government and drives us further into poverty — except for the elite few."
The Beshear-Abramson campaign said nearly 7,000 people contributed to it during the latest filing period. Its voluminous report was nearly 4 inches thick.
"With our strong finances, enthusiastic support and strong ground game, we believe we have the proper pieces in place for a strong finish," Beshear-Abramson campaign manager Bill Hyers said in a statement.
In addition to the campaign coffers, independent groups have raised money and are buying advertisements to support Beshear or Williams.
The groups do not have the same restrictions as campaigns. For example, corporations may give to the independent groups, but corporations may not give to an individual candidate.
A group called Restoring America reported last week that it had raised and spent $1.365 million in Kentucky's gubernatorial race.
The group, which has aired TV and radio ads against Beshear and for Williams, did not list any of its contributors in a report filed with the state Registry of Election Finance.
On Wednesday, another independent group — Kentucky Family Values — reported it had raised $1,302,500 and spent $1,168,284 to support Beshear.