Elisabeth Jensen, a Lexington Democrat running for Congress on Nov. 4, has far less money than the Republican incumbent, and much of what she does have comes from her own pocket.
Jensen, 49, had raised $636,624 as of June 30, the most recent reporting date for federal campaigns, compared to $2.08 million for U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington. Jensen reported having $276,312 in cash on hand; Barr still had $1.36 million.
Jensen's total includes $100,000 from a one-year, no-interest, unsecured loan she made to her campaign last Nov. 27. Separately, she also gave herself about $10,000 in donations.
Jensen reported a 2013 income of $49,583 as executive director of The Race for Education, a nonprofit that offers scholarships, tutoring and other aid for young students, and no assets that produced more than $5,000 in 2013 income.
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Her campaign spokesman, Allan Rivlin, said the money for her $100,000 campaign loan came from her family's real-estate business in Indianapolis, Jensen Properties LLC.
Jensen last year reported owning 18.25 percent of Jensen Properties, an asset she valued at $1 million to $5 million. But she declared on two separate House ethics financial-disclosure reports — the first in July 2013, the second on May 9 — that she received no income from Jensen Properties.
Jensen did not disclose the money from Jensen Properties because she did not have to, Rivlin said. House ethics rules do not require public disclosure of money that members of Congress or candidates get from a limited liability company in which they own a share, as long as the money they take does not exceed the value of their share.
"She didn't get income, she got a distribution of capital assets," Rivlin said. "There's no wink or asterisk here. This is money that she had that was put into the LLC. Then she took it out."
Of Jensen's total donations, she got $132,444, or 20 percent, through ActBlue, a popular website for Democratic donors who often give modest amounts. These donations came to Jensen from around Kentucky and the country, with an average size of $387.
She also received $75,162, or 12 percent, from political-action committees, usually representing labor unions, Democratic politicians or party affiliates and women's groups.
Among Jensen's individual donors, there are many representatives of Central Kentucky's horse industry, where she previously worked; Kentucky state government in Frankfort; and Lexington's business and legal communities. Notable Democratic donors include former Gov. Paul Patton, Attorney General Jack Conway, former state Auditor Crit Luallen, state Auditor Adam Edelen and U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville, the only Democrat in Kentucky's congressional delegation.