Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear has topped $10 million in contributions for his re-election campaign, and still has more than enough in the bank to keep TV ads running around the clock through November 8.
A report filed Tuesday with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance shows that he banked another $517,000 over the past two weeks.
His Republican challenger, state Senate President David Williams, hasn't yet reported his October fundraising total. Independent candidate Gatewood Galbraith filed a report showing he raised just more than $3,500 during the roughly two-week period. Previous reports have shown money flooding into Beshear's campaign, while Williams and Galbraith have struggled to raise cash in what has become a lopsided fundraising contest.
Some outside groups, funded largely by Williams' father-in-law, have run TV ads promoting the GOP challenger over Beshear. Galbraith has had no such help. Polls showing Beshear with a 30 percentage point lead over his nearest competitor have helped bolster fundraising. Campaign manager Bill Hyers said some 1,100 people contributed to Beshear between Oct. 8 and Oct. 24.
"The continued outpouring of support from citizens from across the commonwealth is truly gratifying," Hyers said in a statement Tuesday. "While our opponent relies on his father-in-law to support his campaign through misleading and false television advertisements, we are pleased to have the support of hard-working Kentuckians who support Gov. Beshear's efforts to create jobs in every corner of the state."
The latest report showed the Beshear campaign has spent more than $1 million over the past two weeks, but still has nearly $600,000 in the bank. The Williams campaign didn't have an immediate comment. But Galbraith offered sharp criticism, charging that Beshear doesn't have a record worthy of a second term.
"They can't justify his re-election, so they're going to have to buy it," Galbraith said. "It really doesn't make any difference how much money Steve Beshear raises if the citizen's vote is not for sale."
Williams, the long-time state Senate president, reported earlier this month that he had raised $1 million for his campaign since May, and Galbraith, a Lexington attorney, had collected $166,000. Some outside Republican political groups funded largely by Williams' father-in-law, Russell Springs businessman Terry Stephens, have gotten involved by spending more than $2 million to run attack ads against Beshear. Stephens gave nearly $1.4 million to Restoring America, a Republican political group. Earlier in the year, he gave $1 million to the Republican Governors Association, which ran ads supporting Williams over Beshear.
All of Kentucky's candidates for statewide office have to file period financial disclosure reports, as do political groups that raise and spend money in the state.