Updated with Craft, Cameron reports. Beshear maintains big fundraising lead over Republican rivals.

Democratic governor reports raising almost $5.2 million to date. Republican Craft’s contributors include Stoops, Rove, Schnatter

By: - January 3, 2023 6:46 pm

The current occupant of the Kentucky Governor’s Mansion reported receiving three pairs of sunglasses from Shady Rays of Simpsonville. (Getty Images)

This article has been updated with new information.

FRANKFORT, KY – Gov. Andy Beshear’s re-election campaign on Tuesday reported raising $646,700 during the last quarter of 2022, bringing the total Beshear has raised to date to $5,180,200.

The campaign reported having a bit over $4.7 million of that on hand.

While the haul during the past three months is smaller than any of the previous four quarters that the incumbent Democrat has been raising money for re-election, it is still a significant sum that increases his big money lead over all Republicans running for governor.

Kelly Craft

On the Republican side, former United Nations Ambassador Kelly Craft had by far the strongest fundraising quarter. Her campaign reported $547,600 in receipts during the three months bringing her total raised for the campaign to $1.3 million. That’s the largest amount raised by any Republican so far in the gubernatorial primary.

But Craft also is the only candidate for governor from either party who has been spending big. Her report showed just over $1 million in expenses during the quarter including the first television ads aired by any candidate for governor so far.

Craft’s campaign reported having just $230,200 on hand.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s campaign raised $259,100 during the period, bringing the total raised by his campaign to $967,400. His campaign reported having $712,300 on hand.

Daniel Cameron

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, who going into the quarter had raised the most money among the Republican candidates, reported raising little in the last three months – just $54,300. That brought the total his campaign has raised to $930,000.

But the Quarles campaign also reported little spending, leaving him with $874,600 on hand – more than any of his Republican rivals.

Beshear also is not expected to face a serious challenge in his bid to win the Democratic Party nomination in the May primary. So, his campaign can save its money while the many Republican contenders must spend their available resources during the primary race.

Andy Beshear (Photo for Kentucky Lantern by McKenna Horsley)

A review of the long list of more than 2,000 contributions to Beshear during the quarter shows that he received $21,500 from officials and employees of Norton Healthcare; $20,000 from officials of Freedom Senior Services, a Louisville based company that provides in-home health care services; and $16,500 from officials of Churchill Downs.

And as was true with his campaign’s previous reports, Beshear continues to draw scores of contributions from officials within his administration.

About one quarter of the contributors to Craft’s campaign during the quarter were from outside Kentucky with the largest share of that coming from contributors in Oklahoma where the energy company Alliance Coal, headed by her husband Joe Craft, is based.

Among those listed as giving the maximum $2,000 contribution to the Craft campaign during the period are: University of Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops; conservative political consultant Karl Rove, of Austin, Texas; and John Schnatter, the former chief executive of Papa Johns.

Here are the main numbers for three other Republican contenders whose campaigns filed reports on  Tuesday:

*Somerset Mayor Alan Keck, who entered the Republican primary for governor on Nov. 21, reported raising $204,800 in his first 40 days of fundraising. He reported having $171,900 on hand.

Keck report shows he raised most of his money from Somerset and nearby towns, but got 22 contributions totaling about $35,000 from donors from the St. Petersburg Florida area.

*Kentucky Auditor Mike Harmon reported raising just $3,779 during the period. His campaign reports having $26,000 on hand

*Eric Deters, of Northern Kentucky, reported raising just $4,800 during the three-month period and having $6, 143 on hand.

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Tom Loftus
Tom Loftus

Tom Loftus is a native of Cincinnati and a graduate of The Ohio State University. His long career in Kentucky journalism includes four years as Frankfort bureau chief for The Kentucky Post and 32 years as Frankfort bureau chief for The Courier Journal. He is a member of the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame and a freelance reporter for the Kentucky Lantern.