"Money, money, money, money, MONEY." — The O'Jays
With less than a month before the gubernatorial primary, there already is more than $10 million at play, and that doesn't include spending by super PACs.
As the kids say, that's a lot of cheddar.
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Here's what we learned from the latest campaign finance reports that were released this week.
Arguably nobody was happier with the announced tallies Wednesday than Kentucky's commissioner of agriculture.
Because his opponents have always been capable of writing massive checks to their own campaigns, one of the big questions surrounding Comer's campaign has been whether he could compete financially.
At least for now — like right now at this second — Comer has been able to achieve parity while boasting that all of his money has been contributed from donors and not his own wallet.
If you take away the personal contributions the other candidates have made to their campaigns, Comer has raised more than double what the other three men in the Republican field have garnered combined.
All told, Comer has raised more than $2 million since getting in the race last year, even though Kentucky fundraising laws limit contributions to $1,000 a person.
With about $1 million in cash on hand, Comer has managed to draw even with former Louisville Councilman Hal Heiner in money available with less than four weeks to go, and he has more to spend than Louisville businessman Matt Bevin.
Comer thinks the fundraising numbers tell a story of grass-roots organizational strength, and he might be right.
But there are no moral victories in politics, and his cash parity might last only as long as it takes his opponents to get to an ATM.
Heiner has run the last few weeks of the campaign as the frontrunner, but it has come at a cost.
Since entering the race early last year, Heiner has spent almost $3.9 million of the $4.9 million his campaign reported having collected. That includes a hefty personal contribution of $4.2 million.
Heiner's overwhelming financial advantage helped him get to the top of the heap as he was able to spend heavily on television ads and staff at a time when others couldn't or wouldn't.
The question now becomes how much more is Heiner willing to spend out of his own pocket?
The candidate has declined repeatedly to say if he will invest more of his money in the campaign, but now that Comer has pulled even with him in the cash department, don't be surprised if the next report reveals a sizable donation from Heiner.
Just one year after making a personal loan of $1.6 million to his failed U.S. Senate campaign, Bevin is filling his coffers again with money from his own pockets.
Since getting in the gubernatorial race just before the January filing deadline, Bevin has loaned his gubernatorial campaign $1.25 million.
Given that he has raised a total of $1.32 million, he has received just more than $72,000 from donors. That has to be a disappointment considering Bevin's belief that he has a large following among the Tea Party movement and his efforts to lure national contributions by appearing on national conservative radio programs.
While ultimately dwarfed by incumbent Mitch McConnell's fundraising in 2014, Bevin raised a respectable $5.3 million in his U.S. Senate race.
We'll soon know if some of those same donors are just waiting until the last few weeks to contribute again or if they were giving to Bevin because they didn't like McConnell.
Considering that Bevin reported having less than $200,000 cash on hand, it might be time for him to get out his checkbook again.
Will T. Scott
Bringing up the rear in the Republican field is the recently retired state Supreme Court justice.
Scott was late reporting his numbers Wednesday night, but it could not have taken him very long to count the haul.
An underdog from the beginning, Scott reported raising a little more than $195,000, which includes a personal loan of $137,000.
That Scott would write himself a check is not an enormous surprise, but it's unlikely he can do so in the amounts that Heiner and Bevin have given themselves.
With about $112,000 in cash on hand, Scott will have some money to try to get his message out in the final weeks, but he certainly won't be in a position to blanket the airwaves and become better known statewide.
And earned media will get a candidate only so far, as there are only so many times the press corps will show up to watch him jump out of a plane.
The likely Democratic nominee and state attorney general has been filling up email inboxes this year in an effort to fill his campaign coffers.
Conway has raised — and spent — a vast amount as he prepares for the general election.
Since entering the race last spring, he has raised about $2.2 million, but he has just $1.4 million left in cash.
That might seem like a ridiculous burn rate given that he has no credible opponent, but fundraising costs money and Conway campaign officials said the candidate has begun the expensive work of building a statewide infrastructure.
And it seems like a safe bet that come May 20 — the day after the primary — the Democrat will be sitting on a mountain of cash at a time when the Republican candidate is looking to refill the bank.