McGrath outraises McConnell in leadup to primary

Amy McGrath

Amy McGrath, who is running for the Democratic Party’s nomination to face Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), outraised the Republican in the lead-up to the primaries in the Bluegrass State’s Senate race.

McGrath’s campaign reported in a filing with the Federal Election Commission that it raised $11.3 million from April 1-June 3 and currently has $19.3 million in the bank. McConnell’s campaign reported hauling in $7.2 million in the same time period and is sitting on $15.4 million. 

Both candidates spent about $6.7 million in the roughly two-month span.

State Rep. Charles Booker, who is challenging McGrath in the Democratic primary and has recently garnered increased attention, reported raising about $476,000 and has roughly $285,000 in the bank.

The reports are the last the three campaigns will file before the June 23 Democratic and Republican primaries. 

McGrath, a retired Marine Corps fighter pilot who rose to prominence in 2018 when she narrowly lost her House bid in Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District, has built a strong small-dollar fundraising machine, outraising McConnell in several previous quarters. Her pre-primary haul is a notably gargantuan total for any Senate candidate, particularly a nonincumbent.

“Amy has beat Mitch’s funding from deep-pocket special interests with donations from Kentuckians in all 120 counties and an average donation of $37,” McGrath’s campaign said in a statement Friday. “She’s built a grassroots team from the ground up that is capable of going toe-to-toe with Mitch in the fall.”

Still, McConnell is likely to prove a tough foe for McGrath or Booker, if the progressive is able to pull off a primary upset. The Senate majority leader won reelection in 2014 by a nearly 15-point margin in a deep red state and has strong financial backing from an array of outside groups.

“When you run against Mitch McConnell liberal donors from New York and California make sure your pockets are full, but they can’t do anything for McGrath’s invisible political support in Kentucky,” Kevin Golden, McConnell’s campaign manager, said in a statement to The Hill. “She has spent more money than any Democrat in Kentucky’s history, and there’s a good chance she doesn’t even make it out of the primary.”

The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, rates the race as “likely Republican.”

Tags Amy McGrath Charles Booker Kevin Golden Mitch McConnell The Cook Political Report

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