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James Comer Leads Republicans in Fundraising For Governor's Race

Ervins Strauhmanis/Creative Commons

Three Republicans and one Democrat have raised more than $1 million in this year’s race for governor in advance of the May 19 primary election.

So far this year presumptive Democratic nominee Jack Conway padded his war chest with $872,000 and spent more than $400,000 on his campaign, according to the Kentucky Election Finance Registry.

Conway has just under $1.5 million to take on whoever gets nominated to run on the Republican ticket.

“The unwavering support Sannie and I are receiving will allow us to start the general election in the strongest position possible, ensure that every Kentuckian knows our plan to move this state forward, and secure a victory in November,” Conway said in an email statement.

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer won the fundraising race among the candidates for the Republican nomination.

Comer has raised more than $1 million and spent almost $850,000 on the race far this year, according to the registry. He has over $1 million left in his campaign account.

“We have many first-time political donors, and each donation from five dollars to a thousand dollars is an investment in this campaign and in Kentucky’s future,” Comer’s campaign said in an email statement.

Louisville businessman Hal Heiner spent the most on his campaign, dropping almost $2.75 million on advertising, consulting, staffer pay and other expenses so far this year.

Last year, Heiner loaned his campaign $4.2 million of his own money. So far this year he’s raised about $278,000, according to the registry. Heiner also has just more than $1 million left in his campaign account.

Another Louisville businessman, Matt Bevin, loaned his campaign $1.25 million this year and raised about $73,000. He also spent more than $1 million this year, leaving him with a balance of $286,000.

Bevin also loaned himself more than $1 million  last year for his failed campaign for the U.S. Senate seat won by incumbent Mitch McConnell.

In the race for attorney general, Andy Beshear, who is running unopposed on the Democratic ticket has more than $1.5 million in the bank—an impressive amount for a down ballot race.

His likely opponent, Republican Rep. Whitney Westerfield of Hopkinsville, has just over $60,000 in his campaign account.

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