FRANKFORT — With the aid of Internet "money bombs," Bowling Green eye surgeon Rand Paul appears to be the winner in campaign fund-raising in Kentucky's race for the U.S. Senate, bringing in more than $1 million in the last three months.
But Secretary of State Trey Grayson, Paul's chief rival in the May Republican primary election for the seat, counters that most — 92 percent — of the $642,857 his campaign raised in the last three months comes from Kentucky.
The Paul campaign has been reluctant to say how much of its money comes from the Bluegrass State.
Paul, the son of U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, a Texas Republican who ran for president last year, generated money from across the nation through fund-raising blitzes on the Internet known as "money bombs."
The Paul campaign minimized Grayson's emphasis on where campaign funds originate.
"No one's money in this race is any greener, regardless of where it comes from," Paul campaign spokesman David Adams said.
"Our fund-raising shows that Trey Grayson has limitations and that Dr. Paul is well-known across the nation," he said.
The Paul campaign noted that it received contributions from more than 13,000 people and that the average contribution was less than $75.
The Grayson campaign reported Thursday it has raised $1.2 million to date and has $1.1 million in cash on hand.
Grayson's campaign said it has received contributions from 116 of Kentucky's 120 counties.
Ninety-eight percent of his contributions are from individuals and 92 percent are from Kentucky, Grayson said. More than 2,000 Kentuckians have contributed to his campaign.
Of the contributions to Grayson in the third quarter, 68 percent were for $200 or less. Of those, 95 percent were from Kentucky.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Jack Conway appeared to have raised more money in the last three months for the Democratic primary election in the U.S. Senate race than his chief opponent, Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo.
In a written release, Conway said his campaign coffers now top $2 million, but he failed to disclose how much he raised this quarter. Nor did the campaign provide a breakdown of the amount of money it has on hand. Mark Riddle, a spokesman for the campaign, did not immediately return calls asking for comment.
Conway reported about $1.3 million at the end of the second quarter, which was June 30, That means he probably raised more than $700,000 this quarter, while Mongiardo raised $513,658 in the last three months.
Mongiardo ended this quarter with $751,000 on hand. He has raised about $1.2 million to date.
The last three months have been Mongiardo's best in campaign fund-raising, according to his staff.
About 93 percent of Mongiado's individual contributions during that time came from Kentucky residents, his campaign said. More than half of his contributions in the quarter came from small donations, averaging $78 each.
The U.S. Senate seat in Kentucky is open next year because Republican incumbent Jim Bunning is retiring.
Other Republicans seeking the seat are Todd County businessman Bill Johnson, Northern Kentucky consultant Roger Thoney and Oldham County teacher Brian Oerther.
Other Democrats in the race are former U.S. Customs agent Darlene Fitzgerald Price of McCreary County and Eastwood businessman Maurice Sweeney.