By Jack Brammer
FRANKFORT — Democrat James Kay has raised substantially more money than Republican opponent Lyen Crews and independent John-Mark Hack in the June 25 special election for a state House seat in Central Kentucky.
However, Crews continues to benefit from strong spending by a conservative political action committee in the race to represent the 56th House District, which covers Woodford County and portions of Fayette and Franklin counties.
Kay reported raising $132,749 for the election, compared to Crews’s $68,806.
During the latest reporting period — May 25 to June 10 — Kay took in $44,340 to Crews’ $19,596, according to 15-day pre-election campaign reports filed Monday with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance.
Kay reported having $115,131 cash on hand. Crews reported having $66,065.
The registry had not received a report from Hack, who said in an email later in the day that he had mailed his report. He said it will show that his campaign has about $14,000 cash on hand.
Kay and Crews said they were happy with the latest fundraising totals.
“We are pleased that the people of the district and the state have chosen to support James’ campaign,” said Kay’s campaign manager, Chad Aull. “It is disappointing that our opponent has chosen to rely on outside Washington, D.C., super-groups to fund his negative attack-based campaign.”
Crews, in an email, said “my campaign is thrilled to have raised the necessary funds to execute our plans to get out my message and explain to voters why I am the most qualified candidate in this election.”
Though Crews trails Kay in fundraising, the GOP candidate is receiving strong support from the independent Republican State Leadership Committee based in Washington. It reported last week that it has spent $140,538 in the race.
The PAC started running a TV ad Monday that mentions Kay’s 11 speeding tickets in 11 years and asks whether he will work for the people of his district or for President Barack Obama, who is highly unpopular in the state.
An independent PAC backing Kay, Kentucky Family Values, reported last week that it had raised $7,500.
Kay, Crews and Hack are trying to replace Democrat Carl Rollins of Midway, who has left the legislature to take a higher education post. All three candidates are from Woodford County.
Contributors to Kay for this reporting period included $250 from House Majority Leader Rocky Adkins of Sandy Hook; $250 from Midway businessman Tracy Farmer; $370 from state Rep. Kelly Flood of Lexington; $500 from Lexington attorney Bill Garmer, who is considering a possible bid for the U.S. Senate next year; $200 from state Rep. Derrick Graham of Frankfort; $600 from Elisabeth Jensen of Lexington, who is running for the 6th Congressional District next year against Republican incumbent Andy Barr; $1,000 from Lexington businesswoman Ann B. McBrayer; $150 from former Lexington Mayor Pam Miller; $650 from former state Labor Secretary Carol Palmore of Frankfort; $500 from state Rep. Ruth Ann Palumbo of Lexington; $1,000 from Joseph E. Palumbo, owner of Palumbo Lumber in Lexington; $250 from former Gov. Paul Patton; $1,000 from United Food and Commercial Workers Local 227 in Louisville; $300 from state Rep. Susan Westrom of Lexington; $500 from state Auditor Adam Edelen of Lexington; $1,000 from Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 502 of Louisville; $1,000 from Indiana/Kentucky Regional Council of Carpenters; $500 from United Steelworkers from Frankfort; and $1,000 from Kentucky Educators PAC from Frankfort.
Contributors to Crews included $500 from Versailles attorney William P. Curlin; $500 from Louisville real estate partner Harold Heiner; $500 from Louisville businessman Matthew Bevin, who is considering a run for the U.S. Senate next year as a Tea Party candidate; $250 from U.S. Rep. Andy Barr of Lexington; $200 from Holly Harris VonLuehrte, chief of staff for state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer; $300 from state Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer of Georgetown; $300 from state Rep. David Osborne of Prospect; $200 from campaign funds of state Rep. Brian Linder of Dry Ridge; $300 from Citizens to Elect Addia Wuchner for State Representative of Burlington; $100 from Waide for State Representative of Madisonville; $200 from Committee to Elect Robert Benvenuti of Lexington; $200 from Brad Montell for State Representative of Shelbyville; and $2,200 from Woodford County Republican Party.