Beshear banks $2.6 million for re-election bid

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- Gov. Steve Beshear has banked more than $600,000 over the past three months for next year's re-election campaign, raising his total contributions thus far to $2.6 million.

Beshear filed documents Tuesday with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance in Frankfort showing he and running mate Jerry Abramson had raised more than $666,384 in the second quarter of 2010.

University of Louisville political scientist Dewey Clayton said Beshear's bank account will likely discourage some potential challengers.

"That's definitely going to put everybody on notice that he's got a formidable team here," Clayton said.

Beshear spent $9.7 million in his 2007 race.

The Democratic governor announced last year that he would seek re-election with Abramson, a longtime mayor in Louisville, the state's largest city. Beshear had to find a new running mate after Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo dropped off the ticket to run for U.S. Senate, a race he lost.

Matt Osborne, head of finances for the Beshear campaign, said in a statement that nearly 4,000 people contributed to the campaign.

"The large number of Beshear-Abramson donors shows that citizens from around the commonwealth continue to respond to their leadership through these tough times," Osborne said.

Only one minor Democrat - demolition contractor Otis Hensley of Harlan - has announced his intent to run in the primary against Beshear.

And independent gubernatorial candidate Gatewood Galbraith, a Lexington attorney, has committed to run. Galbraith reported Tuesday that he has raised $85,000 for his campaign so far. He reported having a little more than $4,000 on hand after expenses.

Republicans considering entering the race include Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer, western Kentucky businessman Bill Johnson, and Senate President David Williams.

© 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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