By Jack Brammer – firstname.lastname@example.org
FRANKFORT — Republican candidate for governor David Williams and his running mate, Richie Farmer, took in $446,943 from Jan. 1 through April 15, giving their campaign for the state’s highest offices more than $1.2 million for the May 17 primary election.
The slate of Senate President Williams and state Agriculture Commissioner Farmer, which reported having $669,839.23 cash on hand, easily outpaced the other two GOP slates for governor — Louisville businessman Phil Moffett with state Rep. Mike Harmon of Danville and Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw with former Navy veteran Bill Vermillion of Caneyville.
The Moffett-Harmon slate reported $45,883 in campaign funds from Jan. 1 to April 15. It said it has raised a total of about $100,000 for the election. It was not immediately clear how much cash the campaign has remaining.
The Holsclaw-Vermillion ticket this week showed $22,774 in receipts for its campaign, with $15,289.44 cash on hand.
Although Williams has raised enough to launch a statewide television campaign in coming weeks, his fund-raising lags that of Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear by a wide margin.
Beshear, who is seeking re-election on a ticket with former Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, reported earlier this week raising $1.27 million from Jan. 1 to April 15.
The total raised by the Beshear-Abramson campaign so far is $4.8 million. It reported $3.3 million on hand in the campaign’s quarterly finance update, filed with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance. The Beshear-Abramson ticket is unopposed in the May 17 Democratic primary election.
The Williams-Farmer ticket claimed in a news release that it is well positioned to win the May GOP primary and will be ready for Beshear and Abramson in the November general election.
The last gubernatorial challenger who ran a contested primary before beating an incumbent governor was Beshear in 2007, the Williams-Farmer campaign noted. At this point in his 2007 campaign, Beshear had raised $1.1 million, the GOP ticket added.
“We have thousands of supporters sending a strong message that it is time we had a governor who cares more about job creation and fiscal responsibility than politics and misdirection,” said former state Adjutant General Donald Storm, who is chairman of the Williams-Farmer campaign.
Storm said the GOP ticket will have the resources to win the primary and “build a strong foundation for the fall campaign.” Williams issued a personal loan of $100,000 to the campaign last September to get it started.
Contributors who gave the maximum of $1,000 to Williams and Farmer in this latest filing period included Alliance Resource Partners executive Joseph Craft of Tulsa, Okla.; real estate developer Jean Frazier of Prospect; retired Louisville businessman Owsley Frazier; First Corbin Financial Corp. vice president Mark Terry; Roger Alsip of Lexington, executive with Forcht Group of Kentucky; Louisville Plate Glass Co. president Bill Stone; Peritus Public Relations executive Timothy Mulloy of Louisville; Sullivan University President Alva Sullivan of Louisville; state Sen. Dan Seum of Louisville; Wildcat Ford general manager Paul Cleaver of Lexington; Somerset farmer Kenneth Beshears; Lexington attorney Larry Forgy; Jones Oil Co. president Earl Jones of Pikeville; The Kentucky Deferred Deposit Association; and Housing Industry PAC of Kentucky.
Contributors who gave $1,000 this filing period to Beshear and Abramson included Fort Thomas Realtor Megan E. Abner; Danville auto dealer Bob Allen; Lexington engineer Jason D. Banks; Prestonsburg attorney Keith Bartley; Somerset engineer James M. Patterson; Louisville investment advisor Morton H. Sachs; Amerigroup PAC of Virginia Beach, Va.; Better Schools KY PAC of Louisville; Kentucky Forward State PAC of Frankfort; Kentucky Society of Certified Public Accountants; and Kentucky Association of Real Estate Appraisers.
In the Democratic primary race for secretary of state, Lexington attorney Alison Lundergan Grimes reported $303,283 in contributions compared to $100,420 for Elaine Walker, whom Beshear appointed to the office last year to serve the remainder of departing Trey Grayson’s term.