Politics & Government

McGrath raises $10.7 million in first three months of campaign to challenge McConnell

Former Marine Corps pilot Amy McGrath’s 2020 U.S. Senate campaign said it raised $10.7 million in its first three months of fundraising, a whopping sum that allows her to compete financially with her potential Republican opponent, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.

“Mitch McConnell has never faced an opponent like Amy McGrath,” said Mark Nickolas, McGrath’s campaign manager. “Not only does a new independent poll show the race tied, but more than a quarter-million grassroots donations — from all 120 Kentucky counties — have provided us a record-shattering first quarter of nearly $11 million to take down McConnell and his self-serving special interest allies. Change is coming.”

McGrath’s total is still less than the $11 million McConnell, a prolific fundraiser, had previously raised for his reelection bid.

On Thursday, McConnell’s campaign said it raised $2.3 million in the third quarter of 2019 and has more than $9 million left to spend. Official campaign finance reports are not due the Federal Election Commission until Oct. 15.

Neither campaign disclosed what percentage of their most recent donations came from Kentucky, where some Democrats were critical of early missteps in McGrath’s campaign.

McConnell’s campaign suggested McGrath is being fueled by liberals in coastal states.

“Far-left liberal activists from New York and California absolutely hate the fact that Kentucky’s values, culture and priorities are put at the front of the line as long as Mitch McConnell leads the Senate,” said campaign manager Kevin Golden. “They can flood her campaign with millions but they can’t vote in Kentucky.“

Though several Kentucky Democrats have talked about launching a primary bid against McGrath, including Kentucky Sports Radio host Matt Jones and House Minority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins, her $10.7 million war chest could be a key deterrent in keeping them out of the race.

Democrat Mike Broihier, from Lincoln County, has not yet released his fundraising numbers.