POLITICS

Alison Lundergan Grimes Sets Kentucky Fundraising Record

07/15/2014 04:01 pm ET | Updated Jul 15, 2014
Win McNamee via Getty Images

WASHINGTON -- Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democratic challenger to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), raised more than $4 million from April through June, breaking a state fundraising record.

In a press release, her campaign also announced that Grimes had pulled in a total of $11.3 million in her U.S. Senate run and had $6.2 million cash on hand at the end of June.

The $4 million-plus raised in a single quarter surpasses the previous $2.9 million record for a Senate race in Kentucky -- a record that McConnell set in 2008.

"Kentuckians are coming together to invest in our campaign because they recognize that Alison Lundergan Grimes will bring a new generation of leadership to the U.S. Senate," Grimes campaign manager Jonathan Hurst said in a statement.

The campaign noted that contributions had come from all 120 counties in the state and from all 50 states. It also touted the 100,000 donations under $50.

Grimes' race against McConnell, the Republican Senate leader, is viewed as a top opportunity for Democrats to wrest a Senate seat from the GOP. Major national donors have poured money into Grimes' campaign war chest, and political figures from former President Bill Clinton to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have shown their support.

McConnell's campaign has not yet released its fundraising totals for the second quarter, but as of March, his campaign had pulled in $21.6 million since his last re-election bid in 2008. His second-quarter figures are due to be filed to the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday.

Political observers believe that the Kentucky race could be the first non-presidential contest to cost more than $100 million. Including spending in the Republican primary, where McConnell easily beat tea party challenger Matt Bevin, at least $46 million has already been dropped on the race. Independent groups have spent $9.4 million so far.

The most expensive race in Senate history was the 2000 New York contest featuring Hillary Clinton (D), then-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) and then-Rep. Rick Lazio (R). Including primary spending, that battle cost $94 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Clinton won.

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