Kelly Craft, her coal exec spouse give maximum $10,000 each to Republican Party of Kentucky

FEC filings show Republicans with $1.6 million, Democrats with $1.1 million on hand as of Feb. 28

By: - March 21, 2023 5:50 am

Kentucky Republican governor candidate Kelly Craft speaks to a crowd at Heitzman Traditional Bakery and Deli in Louisville on Feb. 16. (Kentucky Lantern photo by McKenna Horsley)

FRANKFORT — Republican candidate for governor Kelly Craft and her husband Joe Craft each contributed $10,000 to the Republican Party of Kentucky last month.

The two Crafts were among 12 donors who each gave $10,000 to the RPK in February, according to a report the party filed late last week with the Federal Election Commission.

Five of the others who gave $10,000 are registered lobbyists.

The dozen big donations, and many smaller ones, allowed the RPK to report that it had $231,076 in receipts during the month. It spent $115,892.

As of Feb. 28 the RPK reported it had $1,594,850 on hand.

The Kentucky Democratic Party reported similar numbers to the FEC on Monday for its fundraising in February. It reported $222,334 in total receipts, $138,055 in spending, and $1,146,679 on hand as of Feb. 28.

Kelly Craft, a former U.S. ambassador to Canada and to the United Nations, is among a dozen candidates vying for the Republican nomination for governor in the May 16 primary election.

She and Joe Craft have been major political donors for some time. Joe Craft, identified in the FEC report as president of Alliance Coal, is often referred to in news stories as a “billionaire.”

Joe Craft is president and CEO of Tulsa-based Alliance Resource Partners which operates seven underground mining complexes in two geologic regions, the Illinois Basin and Central Appalachia, including mines in Eastern and Western Kentucky. Alliance also controls oil and gas reserves.

Kelly Craft’s campaign is attacking both President Joe Biden and Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, one of her Republican primary opponents, in advertisements asserting that they are undermining coal’s future as a fuel for generating electricity.

The most an individual can contribute to a state political party’s committee regulated by the FEC is $10,000 a year.

Here are the names of the others who gave $10,000 to the Republican Party of Kentucky in February:

Raymond Ashcraft, Georgetown, Northstar, manager of government affairs

Carolyn Hamby, Clarksville, Tennessee, Facilities Services Management, president

Terry Hamby, Cadiz, retired

Frank Harshaw, Louisville, W. Frank Harshaw & Associates, business management

Wayne Hunt, Hopkinsville, AgriPower, owner

Patrick Jennings, Prospect, Commonwealth Alliances, government affairs

Collin  Johnson, Shelbyville, Commonwealth Alliances, government affairs

Garry McNabb, Cookeville, Tennessee, Check Express, CEO

David Whitehouse, Lexington, The Bluegrass Group, managing partner

Amy Wickliffe, Lexington, McCarthy Strategic Solutions, partner

Here are the names of those who gave $10,000 in February to the Kentucky Democratic Party’s FEC-regulated committee:

Claude A. Berry III, Eminence, Wehr Construction, CEO

Diana L. Britton, Louisville, homemaker

William C. Britton, Louisville, retired

Clay M. Corman, Nicholasville, CMC Inc., president

Michael R. Eaves, Richmond, retired

Judith Hanekamp, Masonic Home, retired

John B. Haydon, Bardstown, Nally & Haydon, manager

David Haydon, Bardstown, Nally & Haydon, general contractor

Paul Haydon, Louisville, Armtag Corp., executive vice president

Gary C. Johnson, Pikeville, attorney

Donna Rogers, Otisco, Indiana, Aunt D’s Market & Gifts, owner

Edward Squires, Louisville, Senior Helpers of Kentucky, community relations coordinator

Barbara S.  Young, Lexington, homemaker

William T. Young Jr., Lexington, W.T. Young LLC, president

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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.