Alison Lundergan Grimes’s first campaign fundraising report reads like a Who’s Who of Hollywood and Kentucky Democratic politics.
Grimes, the Kentucky Secretary of State, is attracting donations from those quarters as she seeks to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who would be in line to lead the Senate if he is re-elected next year and Republicans make a net gain of six seats. McConnell is seeking a sixth term.
Grimes raised $2.5 million in the third quarter from donors including entertainment industry figures like Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen, Bryan Cranston, Jerry Seinfeld, Leonardo DiCaprio, Barbra Streisand, Chris Rock, Jon Hamm, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Ron Howard, Cameron Diaz, James Cameron, Aaron Sorkin, Ben Stiller, Leonard Nimoy, Rob Reiner, Kirk Douglas, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Nicolas Cage.
Among Kentucky politicians, Grimes received donations from former Gov. Paul Patton, state Attorney General Jack Conway, former state Auditor Crit Luallen, state House Speaker Greg Stumbo, former Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo and former Kentucky Secretary of State John Y. Brown III.
McConnell’s previous two Democratic opponents, Bruce Lunsford in 2008 and Lois Combs Weinberg in 2002, also donated to Grimes. So did Andy Beshear, a lawyer whose father is Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear, his party’s Senate nominee against McConnell in 1996.
Grimes’s donor list also includes Terry McAuliffe, the former Democratic National Committee chairman and this year’s Democratic nominee for Virginia governor; Tom Daschle, a former Senate majority leader from South Dakota; financier George Soros, a frequent donor to Democratic candidates and causes; and David Stern, the commissioner of the National Basketball Association.
McConnell raised $2.3 million in the third quarter and began October with $9.8 million in the bank, according to his campaign finance report. Matt Bevin, a businessman, is challenging McConnell in the Republican primary.