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McConnell campaign in debt

WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's campaign committee appears nearly $2 million in debt after taking out loans to aid his hotly contested re-election bid, according to recently released campaign finance records.

McConnell spent $19.2 million — roughly $2 million more than he netted during the election cycle, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission. Democratic challenger Bruce Lunsford's most recent campaign records are not yet publicly available.

The Senate race was the most expensive in Kentucky history and, at more than $27 million, ranked No. 2 in 2008 as the nation's most expensive Senate race, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics. The ongoing Minnesota contest ranked first.

The loans to McConnell's campaign included a $1.2 million loan and a $600,000 line of credit from BB&T in late October, a period when Lunsford and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee pumped millions of dollars into ramped-up efforts to wrest the seat from the senior Kentucky senator.

As the race tightened in the final weeks of the campaign, McConnell increased the number of television commercials to help beat back his Democratic challenger's bump in the polls.