The Funding Gap Between Louisville’s Progressive Candidates And Their Opponents Is Stark

There’s still a lot of time for Kentucky’s high-profile U.S. Congress races to ramp up, but, money-wise, the early campaign contribution differentials are somewhat striking, although probably expected.

First let’s look at the Democratic primary race that will determine who has a chance to fill the District 3 U.S. House seat after Rep. John Yarmuth retires at the end of his term.

On Monday, the Federal Election Commission generated receipt reports from campaigns, which showed that from Oct. 1, 2021 to Dec. 31, 2021 Kentucky’s Senate Minority Floor Leader Morgan McGarvey’ s net contributions were $800,032.65, which is also his total campaign contributions because he entered the election in the middle of October.

In that same timeframe, state Rep. Attica Scott raised $81,969.61, bumping her total net contributions to $152,802.44.

McGarvey was first elected to the Senate in 2011. 

Scott, who is also a well-known activist, defeated a 34-year incumbent in 2016 to become the first Black women elected to the Kentucky General Assembly this century. 

In terms of the U.S. Senate race in Kentucky that would hypothetically pit the incumbent, Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, against Democratic challenger Charles Booker — if primaries go as expected — there is also a large fundraising gap.

From Oct. 1, 2021 to Dec. 31, 2021, Rand Paul’s net contributions were $3,615,319.86, bringing his total to $14,288,911.24.

In that time, Charles Booker raised $650,814.45, bringing his total to $2,338,948.91.

Paul was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010. He is seeking a third term. 

Booker, the Louisville-based 38-year-old who formerly served in the Kentucky House of Representatives, previously ran for the U.S. Senate in 2020, losing in the primary to Amy McGrath, who ultimately lost in the general to Mitch McConnell.

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