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Non-Kentuckians pouring money into state campaigns

People outside the state are keenly interested in whom Kentuckians send to Congress in January, judging by the millions of dollars they are pouring into Bluegrass State campaigns.

As of Sept. 29, individual donors in other states had given nearly $5.6 million to Kentucky congressional campaigns for the Nov. 4 election, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. This sum does not include millions of dollars more given by out-of-state political action committees or the Republican and Democratic parties in Washington.

Two incumbents are "turned outside-in," meaning they get less from their constituents than they do from outsiders.

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., collected $4.4 million from individual donors outside Kentucky, far more than the $2.7 million he collected inside Kentucky. Some of McConnell's largest fund-raising events were held in Washington, New York, Texas, Florida and California, according to campaign-finance records.

Rep. Geoff Davis, R-Hebron, in Northern Kentucky's 4th Congressional District, also took more from outside donors ($307,678) than from Kentucky donors ($295,185). Davis, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, has been an aggressive fund-raiser from the national financial sector this year.

The other top recipients of out-of-state individual donations include:

■ Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, at $189,960. He got $555,155 from Kentucky donors

■ Democratic businessman Bruce Lunsford, who wants McConnell's Senate seat, at $160,050. He got $354,704 from Kentuckians

■ Anne Northup, the Republican challenger to Yarmuth, at $112,400. She got $662,050 from Kentucky donors.

Most of the outside cash comes from the Washington area, where special interests can make or lose fortunes depending on the decisions made by Congress; the financial sector in New York City; retirees in Florida; and other coastal cities with political, ethnic and business interests in Congress.

California donors, for example, have put $515,822 into Kentucky congressional campaigns, which is more than the residents of all but six of Kentucky's 120 counties have donated this election cycle to all federal candidates, political parties and PACs.

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