Sources close to Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson (R), who has formed a Senate exploratory committee, say he is on track to report raising close to $500,000 in the second quarter of the year.
Grayson had only two months to fundraise this quarter after filing his exploratory committee in early May.
Grayson, who has said he does not plan to challenge Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) and has said he will only run if the incumbent decides to step aside, has fundraisers scheduled for Monday in London, Ky., and Tuesday in Lexington.
Graysons second-quarter haul is significant because it will be widely compared to that of Bunning, who is regarded as the most vulnerable Senator heading into 2010 in part because of his poor fundraising performance. Bunning reported raising just $263,000 in the first quarter after he admitted to local media that his fundraising was going lousy.
Neither Bunning nor his campaign have offered an assessment of his second-quarter performance, but his fundraising total wont be helped by the postponement of a $500 per couple event that was scheduled to take place in Lexington on Monday.
Bunning, who serves on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, was set to appear at a fundraiser hosted by Kentucky Coal Association President Bill Caylor on Monday night, but late last week Caylor said he postponed the event until August due to late notice and attendees being on vacation.
Caylor said Friday that he wanted to get individuals from the oil and gas industry involved in the event as well as supporters in the coal industry, but due to the late scheduling of the fundraiser he couldnt get them on board.
We were doing this real quickly then we realized we had made some snafus, Caylor said. We wanted to get other groups more involved. We realized we didnt have the oil and gas guys.
Bunnings office wouldnt say how many fundraising events he has scheduled before the June 30 second-quarter deadline but his spokesman said the Senator plans to be in Kentucky for the entire July Fourth recess.
On the Democratic side in the Senate race, Kentucky insiders are expecting a big haul from Attorney General Jack Conway (D). One Kentucky political blog reported this week that sources close to the campaign expect Conways total to be north of $1 million.
Conway spokesman Mark Riddle would only say Friday that the campaign believes it is in a strong position heading to the June 30 deadline. Conway has four more fundraisers planned before the end of the quarter and has already held 20 fundraising events since June 15.
Conways primary opponent, Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo (D), also has four more fundraisers before the end of the quarter, according to spokesman Kim Geveden. But Geveden said he fully expected Conway to out-raise Mongiardo this quarter.
Were not going to be anywhere around $1 million for the second quarter, Geveden said. If we ground out $400,000 or $500,000 on average over [the remaining fundraising quarters] were going to be in fine shape, he said.