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Beshear fundraising far outpaces challenger

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear has banked
$6.3 million for his general election campaign since May, far more
than either of his two political opponents, and has $1 million left
on hand to spend in the final weeks of the campaign, according to
financial reports filed Wednesday.
An independent political group funded in part by the horse
industry and labor unions raised an additional $1.3 million to
support the Democratic incumbent's candidacy in what has become a
financially lopsided race.
Republican challenger David Williams filed a report with the
Kentucky Registry of Election Finance on Wednesday showing he
raised $1 million for his general election campaign since May, and
independent Gatewood Galbraith, a Lexington attorney, collected
$166,000.
Beshear aides boasted Wednesday of raising more than $9.5
million in cash and in-kind contributions since the re-election
campaign kicked off. That, plus the money raised independently by
the political group Kentucky Family Values, would bring the overall
total raised for Beshear's re-election to at least $10.8 million.
Kentucky Family Values filed a financial report showing it has
spent $1.1 million since June airing TV ads attacking Williams,
Beshear's chief opponent, most notably for spending $17,000 to
renovate his Senate office and to purchase a big-screen TV.
The report showed the group's largest donor was the Democratic
Governors Association, which gave $500,000. The Kentucky Educators
Political Action Committee, the political arm of the Kentucky
Education Association, gave $400,000.
Other major contributors included prominent players in the
state's thoroughbred industry. Keeneland and Turfway Park each gave
$50,000. Lexington Thoroughbred Breeders Association gave $40,000.
Kentucky Downs gave $10,000. Numerous labor unions gave $10,000 to
$30,000 each.
The horse industry has gotten behind Beshear because he
advocates legalizing slots at race tracks, a proposal that state
lawmakers have refused to approve.
The Beshear campaign reported Wednesday that $4.1 million in
cash and in-kind contributions have come in since the May primary
election. That's in addition to roughly $2 million he carried over
from his primary election campaign.
"Almost 7,000 people contributed during this filing period and
over 12,000 for the entire campaign," said campaign manager Bill
Hyers.
Hyers said the campaign also has pre-purchased $1 million in
television advertising for the final weeks of the race, which isn't
reflected in the financial report.
"While this report speaks to the strong and broad support Gov.
Beshear and Jerry Abramson have received, Gov. Beshear remains
focused on his responsibilities as governor - primarily his goal to
create a job for every Kentuckian who needs one," Hyers said in a
statement.
Galbraith reported Wednesday that he has spent $163,000 since
January. His report also showed a $179,000 debt, and that he had
slightly more than $2,500 in the bank as of Oct. 7.
Williams reported $764,000 in disbursements since May and
$261,000 on hand. But Williams also has gotten a boost from an
independent political group that bought television advertising
spots to promote his campaign.
Bluegrass Prosperity filed a financial report with the state
Wednesday showing $1.3 million in contributions from the Republican
Governor's Association to support the Williams campaign. Those
groups produced ads attacking Beshear and promoting Williams'
candidacy. Williams' father-in-law, Terry Stephens of Russell
Springs, contributed $1 million to the Republican Governor's
Association earlier this year.
All of Kentucky's candidates for statewide office have to file
financial disclosure reports by midnight Wednesday. Those reports
list the names of financial donors and also provide details about
expenditures.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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