In the scramble to the finish line that is the Kentucky GOP gubernatorial primary two of the top three candidates have raised virtually the same amount of money for their direct campaigns. One candidate is an outlier donating more than $5 million to her campaign.
Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles and Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s 1st quarter finance reports show Cameron has edged Quarles in total money raised with $1.37 million to Quarles’s $1.2 million. However, Quarles has a cash-on-hand advantage with $903,000 in his campaign war chest compared to Cameron’s $593,000 as they head into the race’s final weeks.
Former United Nations Ambassador Kelly Craft, who is married to billionaire coal magnate Joe Craft, has loaned nearly $6 million to her campaign in the first quarter of 2023, according to her campaign finance report filed with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance. Craft’s report shows she’s spent big too, with more than $7 million in expenditures, leaving her with $437,916 in cash on hand. But, she has the ability to continue to self-finance and spend big in the primary, with several sources saying in recent months that she intended to spend $10 million in the GOP primary, which she is on track to do.
Outside of the direct spending from the campaigns, Craft has a political action committee that has been targeting Cameron. Cameron and Quarles have PACs that are likely to come online in the next weeks and earn them additional exposure.
The primary takes place on May 16.