Kelly Craft Leads GOP Gubernatorial Field in 3rd Quarter Fundraising

In her first 24 days in the race GOP gubernatorial election Kelly Craft has raised more than $750,000 for her campaign, and now barely trails in overall money raised in the primary.

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles’s latest fundraising $300,000 fundraising haul puts him slightly ahead of Craft in total raised in the primary with $875,727 raised since entering the race in May. With modest expenditures, Quarles heads into the final quarter of 2022 with $838,000 in the bank.

Craft, the former United Nations ambassador, who is married to billionaire coal magnate Joe Craft, had a massive first month in the race. She pulled in donations from all 120 counties including two state Reps. Steve Riley and Norma Kirk-McCormick. Craft’s running mate, Sen. Max Wise, R-Campbellsville, and his family also donated to her campaign at $2,000 each. Among the high-profile contributors are former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former Eastern District U.S. Attorney Rob Duncan, and Congressman Hal Rogers’ former district director Karen Kelly, according to Craft’s report.

“I am humbled that so many Kentuckians are invested in restoring Kentucky’s Promise,” Craft said in a statement. “In less than one month, our campaign received more than $750,000 in contributions from nearly 800 supporters, including from each of that state’s 120 counties.”

Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who has been endorsed by President Trump, continues to trail in fundraising with $407,757 raised this quarter. The contributions bring his campaign to $708,278 raised with $608,554 in cash on hand.

State Rep. Savannah Maddox, R-Dry Ridge, raised another $100k in the 3rd Quarter bringing her campaign to $210,795 raised with $158,027 in cash on hand.

Former Northern Kentucky attorney and right-wing firebrand Eric Deters continues to burn through his personal finances for the campaign with a $15,000 loan this quarter. He’s now loaned his campaign nearly $100,000 since launching a gubernatorial bid. Deters has also been spending heavily bringing him to just $8,000 in his campaign account.

Trailing the field in fundraising is Auditor Mike Harmon, who was the first high-profile candidate to announce a run. Harmon raised $22,308 this quarter bringing him to just shy of $65,000 raised during the campaign. Harmon has $31,000 in cash on hand.

Meanwhile, Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear, who is seeking re-election next year, has raised another million for his campaign and has $4.15 million in cash on hand.