Politics & Government

James Comer raises nearly $1.1 million in 2014 for gubernatorial bid; Hal Heiner sitting on $3.47 million

Hal Heiner and James Comer
Hal Heiner and James Comer

Republican gubernatorial candidate James Comer raised about $550,000 in the last quarter of 2014, well outpacing Hal Heiner, the only other GOP candidate, who reported raising $156,000 in the last three months of the year.

Overall, Comer has raised nearly $1.1 million since announcing his candidacy in mid-September, but Heiner continues to hold a stronger financial hand after contributing $4.2 million of his own money to his campaign last year.

Heiner, a former Louisville metro councilman, will report having $3,467,422 cash on hand in his campaign's year-end financial report to the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance, said spokesman Doug Alexander. Comer's campaign said it has $873,474 on hand.

Comer's campaign noted that he raised more than half of his total in a fourth quarter that is traditionally meager, given the holidays and the hangover from the most recent November elections.

"The money we've raised has come from all people of all walks of life, many of them first-time political donors," Comer, the state commissioner of agriculture, said in a news release. "Kentuckians are sending a clear message that this election cannot just be bought by one person."

Alexander said Heiner has focused on building a campaign organization and traveling the state in recent weeks.

"Kentuckians are making it clear they want to send a conservative outsider to Frankfort who will start putting Kentucky families first," Alexander said in a news release. "With Hal's experience as a proven job creator, we are confident that our message is resonating in all areas of the commonwealth."

Former Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott of Pikeville, who resigned his post last week, has said that he would decide by early this month whether to run for governor in the Republican primary.

On the Democratic side, Attorney General Jack Conway of Louisville has entered the gubernatorial race, as has perennial candidate Geoff Young of Lexington.

The filing deadline is Jan. 27.