McConnell has $4.25M for re-election

McConnell Chief of Staff Josh Holmes told The Associated Press
on Tuesday that Kentucky's senior senator will file reports with
the Federal Election Commission later this month showing he raised
another $1 million between October and December.

The Louisville Republican is certain to be targeted by Democrats
in 2014, just as he was in 2008 when he won re-election to a fifth
term and gained the distinction of being Kentucky's longest serving
senator. McConnell spent some $20 million in that election, beating
Democrat Bruce Lunsford, a wealthy Kentucky businessman, by six
percentage points.

"As leader of Republicans in the U.S. Senate, Senator McConnell
is a more effective advocate for the conservative agenda than ever
and that makes him a target for President Obama and liberal special
interest groups from out of state," Holmes said. "He's committed
to building the most impressive campaign organization ever
constructed for his reelection and that requires setting a new
standard for fundraising."

McConnell sparked a Republican revival in Kentucky nearly three
decades ago, helping to pick off Democrats in the state's federal
delegation that was sparse on Republicans. The GOP now holds both of Kentucky's U.S. Senate seats and four of the six U.S. House
seats.

Kentucky also has built a track record of voting for Republican
presidential candidates, though it routinely elects Democratic
governors.

University of Kentucky political scientist Steve Voss said
McConnell is reaping the benefits of his powerful position as top
Republican in the Senate and the prospect of a more prominent
position. If the GOP is able to retake majority control in the
Senate, McConnell would likely become Senate majority leader.

"Congressional leaders usually awaken lots of cash," Voss
said. "And having a large war chest is one of the best ways to
ensure re-election because it sends a message to potential
challengers that taking you on is going to be a difficult task."

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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