Craft has loaned her campaign almost $9.3 million

Kentucky governor candidates file final campaign finance reports before May 16 primary

By: - May 4, 2023 3:11 pm

(Getty Images)

Kelly Craft

Republican Kelly Craft has put almost $9.3 million into her quest to become Kentucky’s governor, according to her latest campaign finance disclosure.

Craft, a former ambassador to the United Nations, loaned her campaign $2.25 million during the April 17-May 1 reporting period. That came on top of a $7 million loan from Craft to her campaign reported last month.

Her campaign reported $46,326 in itemized contributions from others during the most recent period, bringing her overall contributions to $1.6 million.

Craft’s campaign has amassed a whopping $10.9 million in total and reports having a balance of $1.2 million heading into the May 16 primary.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s campaign for governor reported it brought in more than $82,000 during the most recent period, raising its overall total to nearly $1.5 million.

Daniel Cameron

The latest report shows Cameron’s campaign spent nearly $335,000 this period, including more than $245,000 on media placements with Flexpoint Media. 

Cameron reported a balance of $341,227.

Heading into the stretch, Republican candidates for governor report these cash balances in their campaigns:

Kelly Craft             $1,271,558

Ryan Quarles       $458,433

Daniel Cameron  $341,227

Alan Keck             $34,555

Mike Harmon      $14,630

Eric Deters          $12,970

Bluegrass Freedom Action, a PAC backing Cameron, reported Wednesday that it raised nearly $811,000 in the most recent period. It also spent more than $1.02 million. The PAC reported $750,000 in new contributions from The Concord Fund, a conservative group formerly called Judicial Crisis Network that is headed by Carrie Severino, a former law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. 

Commonwealth PAC, which is supporting Craft, reported zero contributions this period. The PAC’s previous finance report showed Craft’s husband’s trust contributed $1.5 million to it. Joe Craft is the head of large coal company and often described in media reports as a billionaire. Kelly Craft has since denied knowledge of the donation or any coordination between the campaign and the PAC; such coordination would be illegal.

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles’ campaign for governor reported bringing in almost $34,000 this period, bringing its overall total to $1.2 million. He reported a balance of $458,432.

Ryan Quarles

Quarles’ newest report shows expenditures of more than $478,000 this period. Almost $311,000 of that was spent on advertising. Quarles’ campaign also spent nearly $33,000 on mailers and almost $59,000 on marketing. 

Somerset Mayor Alan Keck’s campaign reported it raised more than $14,000 this period for a campaign total of nearly $326,000. Of its almost $34,000 in expenditures reported this period, Keck’s campaign spent nearly $17,000 on advertising. The Keck campaign reported a balance of $34,555.

Bluegrass Conservatives, a PAC behind Keck, reported $92,500 in contributions. About $62,500 was from Prosperity Alliance, which the Courier-Journal reported is connected to a dark money group, Commonwealth Conservatives LLC, which has run ads in recent state House Republican primaries. Bluegrass Conservatives has spent more than $67,000 this period, with most of that on direct mailers touting Keck. 

Alan Keck

Suspended Northern Kentucky Attorney Eric Deters reported that his largely self-financed campaign has more than $778,000 and spent more than $765,500.  His ending balance was $12,970.42.

According to his 15-day report, Deters spent $75,000 at 859 Print, another $15,000 at News Express and $4,825 at Deters Ink for campaign marketing in April. 

State Auditor Mike Harmon’s campaign has garnered more than $85,000, and raised $470 this period, according to his latest finance report. Of those new dollars, $170 were cash contributions made in April. Harmon’s expenditures reported this period, $293.90, were used on dinner tickets and service fees. 

Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s reelection war chest continued to grow. His latest 15-day finance filing report showed the campaign had raised a total of $6.96 million, with nearly almost  $352,000 brought in in the last reporting period. The report shows that it spent more than $143,000 this period. 

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McKenna Horsley
McKenna Horsley

McKenna Horsley covers state politics for the Kentucky Lantern. She previously worked for newspapers in Huntington, West Virginia, and Frankfort, Kentucky. She is from northeastern Kentucky.