Franklin County

Conway loaned campaign $400,000; Paul's campaign chairman leaving

Conway
Conway

Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway topped his opponent in fund-raising for the U.S. Senate race in the most recent quarter, but loaned his own campaign a sizable chunk of the total.

The new numbers came as Republican nominee Rand Paul's campaign chairman announced he's leaving to work for an unnamed slate of Tea Party-backed candidates for governor and lieutenant governor.

Conway's campaign announced Tuesday that he took in $1.4 million in contributions in the April-through-June quarter, which was better than the $1.1 million Paul's campaign said he took in during the same time.

However, Conway's spokeswoman confirmed that Conway had loaned his campaign $400,000 in the second quarter. That means Paul actually took in more money from donors than Conway, said Jesse Benton, Paul's campaign manager.

Benton said it was no surprise that "union bosses, trial lawyers and other groups out of sync with Kentucky values" gave to Conway, but that Paul was "proud to have kept pace with small contributions from real grass-roots Americans."

Paul has successfully used the Internet and contacts of his father, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, to raise money, much of it from outside Kentucky.

An analysis of earlier campaign reports by the Center for Responsive Politics showed Paul getting 75 percent of his donations from outside Kentucky, while Conway got 75 percent of his from inside the state.

Neither campaign has released details on the sources of their contributions in the April-June quarter, or on how much the candidates spent.

Paul and Conway also haven't released the very important figure of how much cash they have on hand going forward into the general election.

Both campaigns are required to file reports this week with the Federal Election Commission that detail how much money they took in and spent in the April-June quarter. That period included the end of the May 18 primary election and the beginning of the fund-raising push for the November election.

Conway's spokeswoman, Allison Haley, said in a statement that his successful fund-raising effort on the heels of the primary shows that "voters want a senator who will bring accountability to Wall Street and Washington, cut the deficit and create jobs and opportunity for Kentucky."

Laurie Rhodebeck, a professor of political science at the University of Louisville, said she wouldn't read too much into the fund-raising totals at this point.

"If you use money as a measure ... they're both running neck and neck," Rhodebeck said.

Meanwhile, the man who managed Paul's successful primary race isn't staying on for the general election. David Adams confirmed he is leaving the campaign, probably by the end of the week.

Adams' position with the campaign had been redefined as campaign chairman soon after the primary, and Benton came on as campaign manager.

Adams said he is helping put together a slate of candidates for governor and lieutenant governor designed to "further Tea Party ideals" from the state's highest office.

Tea Party activists, who fueled Paul's primary win, are mad at both parties over what they see as out-of-control federal spending and over-reaching by government, but identify more closely with Republicans than Democrats.

Adams declined on Tuesday to identify the candidates. He said that announcement could come by the end of the week.

He said he anticipates running the campaign.

"We need to be getting the show on the road pretty fast," Adams said.

Gov. Steve Beshear, a Democrat who is seeking re-election with Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson as his running mate, recently announced he had raised more than $600,000 for the campaign in the most recent quarter and has a sizable campaign chest of more than $2 million on hand for the race.

Beshear has drawn only token Democratic opposition so far.

Gatewood Galbraith, who has run for governor before as a Democrat, has filed to seek the office as an independent.

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