Bevin Loans $350,000 More to McConnell Challenge

Matt Bevin, republican Senate candidate for Kentucky, during the Knob Creek Gun Range Machine Gun Shoot Out in West Point, Ky.

Photograph by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

Matt Bevin, republican Senate candidate for Kentucky, during the Knob Creek Gun Range Machine Gun Shoot Out in West Point, Ky.

Kentucky businessman Matt Bevin, in an uphill battle to dethrone Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in a Republican primary next week, is turning again to his biggest donor: Himself.

Bevin loaned his campaign $350,000 on May 8, raising the amount of his self-financing to at least $1.25 million, according to federal campaign-finance reports. Bevin had $329,000 in campaign cash-on-hand April 30 compared with $10.1 million for McConnell.

McConnell is favored to win the May 20 primary and then advance to a November general-election matchup with Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, a Democrat.

Television ads in the Kentucky Senate race have run 15,253 times on local broadcast stations through May 12, led by McConnell, according to Kantar Media’s CMAG, which tracks advertising. McConnell’s campaign has aired a dozen ads a total of 3,368 times, including one spot 825 times that ignores Bevin and promotes McConnell as a “genuine Kentucky workhorse” who’s fighting against President Barack Obama’s “war on coal” and the Affordable Care Act.

McConnell and his allies have been overpowering Bevin on television.

McConnell is getting help on television from outside groups including the nonprofit Kentucky Opportunity Coalition and the super-political action committee Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, which together have aired ads 4,136 times — more than McConnell’s own campaign.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is also on television aiding McConnell. The political arm of the Credit Union National Association introduced a spot yesterday that says McConnell “stands up for coal miners and their families” against Obama’s “war on coal” and the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

In one of Bevin’s spots, the candidate says McConnell “has had a long career in politics” and that America “deserves more than failed leadership,” while criticizing McConnell’s votes for legislation including the fiscal-cliff deal that raised the marginal tax rate on wealthy income-earners while extending George W. Bush-era tax cuts on individuals’ income up to $400,000 and for married couples’ income of less than $450,000. (McConnell’s “workhorse” ad defends his vote.) Bevin’s backers include the Senate Conservatives Fund.

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