Beshear outpaces Cameron in fundraising for Kentucky Governor’s race

By Paul Oliva, The Lexington Times

FRANKFORT, Ky. — As the clock ticks down to the Kentucky gubernatorial election on November 7, 2023, the financial landscape of the race is becoming clearer. Incumbent Democratic Governor Andy Beshear has significantly outraised his Republican opponent, Attorney General Daniel Cameron, according to recent campaign finance reports.

Beshear’s Financial Muscle

Although Beshear’s official filing was not yet public due to claimed software issues, his campaign announced on Tuesday that it had raised $15 million since mid-May for the general election. The campaign has already spent nearly $11 million of that total, leaving $4.2 million cash on hand. This figure includes a $2 million expenditure on television ad placements for October.

The Beshear campaign’s fundraising prowess is partly due to the $6 million rolled over from the primary season, as the incumbent governor did not face a competitive primary. An additional $3 million came from the Kentucky Democratic Party, and the remaining $6 million was raised directly by the general election campaign.

Cameron’s Financial Picture

In contrast, Cameron’s campaign filed its 60-day pre-general election report on Tuesday. The report revealed that the campaign had total receipts of $2,841,281.32 and total expenditures of $1,441,206.42, leaving an ending balance of $1,400,074.90. The campaign’s financial summary showed a diverse range of contributions, including $2,193,028.10 in itemized contributions and $69,900 from Political Action Committees (PACs).

The Implications

The financial disparity between the two campaigns is stark. Beshear’s campaign manager, Eric Hyers, stated that the fundraising report would reflect a “major enthusiasm advantage” the campaign has over Cameron. “Governor Beshear is one of the most popular governors in the country and has a track record of getting big things done for Kentucky,” Hyers said.

While it’s true that money isn’t the sole determinant of electoral success, the fundraising gap does indicate a significant advantage for Beshear. The funds will likely be used for further advertising, outreach, and campaign events, potentially widening the gap between the two candidates as the election nears.

As the election approaches, the financial aspect will be just one of many factors that Kentucky voters will consider. However, for now, the fundraising numbers are painting a picture of a race where Beshear holds not just a financial advantage, but possibly an enthusiasm advantage as well.

Photo by The Lexington Times