Elections

McConnell puts in $1.8 million of his own money

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell campaigned Wednesday at a Wayne's Supply Shop near Ashland. At left is U.S. Representative Thomas Massie, R-Vanceburg.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell campaigned Wednesday at a Wayne's Supply Shop near Ashland. At left is U.S. Representative Thomas Massie, R-Vanceburg. Herald-Leader

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has enjoyed a significant cash advantage over his Democratic opponent, has given his campaign $1.8 million out of his own pocket.

Politico first reported that the senator had written a check to himself for the final days of his close and nasty race against Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes.

McConnell has vastly outraised Grimes over the course of the campaign, totaling a Kentucky record of more than $28 million raised. Grimes had raised about $15.6 million overall.

John Ashbrook, a McConnell spokesman, said the injection of cash was necessary because of renewed efforts by national Democrats in the state and McConnell's policy of not taking money from the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

"Sen. McConnell has maintained a longstanding personal commitment to his members that he won't draw any resources from the team," Ashbrook said. "So he's going to match Obama's money men out of his own pocket."

Last week, the senator reported more than $5.2 million in cash on hand at the end of the quarter, while Grimes reported $4.4 million.

McConnell made the loan to his campaign after the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Senate Majority PAC returned to the Kentucky battlefield to the tune of about $1.5 million.

While McConnell has outraised Grimes by a substantial amount in the overall money race, he spent heavily during his tense primary against Louisville businessman Matt Bevin; additionally, Grimes has beaten McConnell in several fundraising quarters since she got in the race, setting records of her own along the way.

McConnell made a similar move at the end of his 2008 campaign, securing a loan for $1.8 million in the closing days of his winning race against Democrat Bruce Lunsford.

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