By Sam Youngman
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s re-election campaign continued its pattern of big fundraising hauls and big spending in April, raising and spending more than $1 million.
McConnell continues to have a significant cash advantage over Republican primary opponent Matt Bevin and likely Democratic nominee Alison Lundergan Grimes, but the primary has been costly for McConnell.
The campaign said Thursday that the April spending was largely due to pre-purchasing television advertising time for the run-up to the May 20 primary.
The campaign said it has more than $10 million in cash on hand.
When McConnell filed his first quarter report with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in mid-April, he reported $10.4 million in cash. Bevin reported raising about $1.1 million in the first quarter of the year, but had less than $500,000 cash on hand.
Allison Moore, McConnell’s spokeswoman, said in a statement Thursday that McConnell “is continuing to gain tremendous momentum from those who support his strong conservative leadership, his hard work on behalf of Kentucky and from those who want to ensure that a Majority Leader McConnell is setting the agenda in Washington next year.”
At the end of March, McConnell had raised more than $22 million for his re-election.
The McConnell campaign has said the primary against Bevin has forced them to move up infrastructure spending, including “unprecedented voter contact,” that would normally come later in a campaign.