McConnell Weighs In With $3M Last Quarter

Posted July 16, 2008 at 6:29pm

Facing a deep-pocketed Democratic challenger, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in the second quarter continued his impressive fundraising efforts, taking in an eye-popping $3 million in campaign contributions.

According to his campaign, McConnell has about $9.1 million on hand, a sign that the top Senate Republican is planning to be well-armed in this election year that promises to be a difficult one for the GOP.

McConnell’s opponent, Democrat Bruce Lunsford, took in $3.1 million this cycle, although McConnell campaign aides were quick to point out that $2.5 million of that was a contribution from the candidate.

A preliminary review of McConnell’s filing — covering May 1 to June 30 — shows he took in $2.1 million in contributions, while spending a relatively modest $741,100.

In April, McConnell reported taking in $850,000.

This cycle, McConnell has netted $13.5 million while spending $4.8 million.

In a statement released by his campaign, McConnell said he would continue to focus on his campaign for the rest of the year. “I am humbled by the outpouring of support from Kentuckians and people across the country. I plan to run a vigorous campaign and we will have the resources to deliver a convincing message to Kentuckians this fall,” he said.

McConnell’s impressive haul was augmented by about $500,000 in political action committee contributions. This cycle, his campaign has taken in about $4 million from PACs.

Health care, insurance and other medical industry PACs were particularly generous this quarter, giving his campaign tens of thousands of dollars in contributions throughout May and June, according to a preliminary review of McConnell’s July 15 filing. Health care-related PACs giving to McConnell in the last quarter include the College of American Pathologists PAC, Federation of American Hospitals PAC and HealthSouth PAC.

Although many of his Senate colleagues have already helped fill McConnell’s coffers, he continued to see a trickle of Senate money, including $5,000 from Sen. John Cornyn’s (R-Texas) Alamo PAC on June 26.

Other notable PAC contributions include $2,000 on June 30 from the Pakistani American Public Affairs PakPAC; two $ 5,000 contributions on May 20 from To Protect Our Heritage PAC, an Israeli-related PAC; and $500 on June 30 from Fannie Mae PAC.

McConnell’s filings also shed light on his media spending for the quarter. According to the records, McConnell’s campaign has already begun to make significant buys, including more than $321,299 in payments to Media consultant Mentzer Media Services for ad buys in and around the state.

Much of Kentucky media is relatively low-cost — except for media outlets in Cincinnati — meaning that Kentucky voters are likely to be seeing a lot of the incumbent, either in person or on TV.