McConnell Gets Super-PAC Support in Kentucky

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican who’s leading his party’s effort to win a majority of Senate seats this November, is getting early help for his 2014 re-election campaign from a super-PAC.

The group, Bluegrass Votes Super PAC, “plans to make independent expenditures to support Senator Mitch McConnell’s upcoming re-election campaign next cycle,” Justin Brasell, a Republican strategist who’s aiding the effort, said in an e-mail message. Super-PACs, which grew out of a series of court rulings and regulatory decisions in 2010, can accept donations in unlimited amounts.

Brasell managed McConnell’s 2008 re-election campaign, which he won by 53 percent to 47 percent over Democrat Bruce Lunsford. McConnell spent $21.3 million in 2007 and 2008, more than any other Senate candidate.

Democrats control 53 of the 100 Senate seats, though their majority is in jeopardy because Democrats are the defending party in 23 of the 33 Senate races. McConnell, 70, would be in line to become Majority Leader if Republicans made a net gain of four seats.

Republicans are hoping to win Democratic-held seats in states including North Dakota, where Democrat Kent Conrad is retiring. Brasell is raising money for another super-PAC, Freedom Pioneers Action Network, that supports the likely Republican nominee, Representative Rick Berg.

Democrats also are defending more Senate seats than Republicans in the 2014 election cycle, when McConnell would seek a sixth term.

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