Mitch McConnell’s Democratic challenger is starting the year with a “gargantuan” fundraising haul.
Amy McGrath, the retired Marine Corps fighter pilot who is launching a bid to unseat the Senate majority leader, took in a total of $12.8 million in the first three months of 2020, The Hill reported. During that same period, McConnell’s campaign took in $7.5 million. Both campaigns finished the quarter with close to the same amount of cash on hand — $14.7 million for McGrath and $14.9 million for McConnell. Since announcing her candidacy in July, McGrath has now raised close to $30 million.
As the report pointed out, the major fundraising haul is far outside the norm for U.S. Senate races and could give her a good chance to flip a seat that had been rated as “Likely Republican” by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.
“McGrath’s haul is a gargantuan total for any Senate candidate, particularly a nonincumbent, and follows several other strong quarters,” The Hill noted.
McGrath’s campaign released a statement saying that the big fundraising total shows that “voters are fed up with Mitch McConnell continually putting corporate handouts ahead of working people.” The race has garnered national attention as the GOP senator has become a major target for Democratic groups that accuse him of stymieing the House’s legislative packages.
McConnell’s challenger has already shown off fundraising prowess before the start of 2020. As The Inquisitr reported, her campaign also finished the last three months of 2019 with a $6 million haul and had a total of $9.1 million on hand.
Mark Nickolas, McGrath’s campaign manager, said at the time that he had never seen a U.S. Senate candidate with such an ability to raise funds, and predicted that she would continue to outraise the Kentucky Republican over the course of the race.
McConnell’s campaign has pushed back, accusing McGrath’s people of tapping into wealthy donors far from Kentucky.
“Any left-wing name on the ballot against Mitch McConnell will raise tens of millions from liberal elites in New York and California who want to eliminate Kentucky’s power to shape policy in Washington,” McConnell’s campaign manager, Kevin Golden, told Newsweek after the fourth quarter fundraising period. “What they can’t do is invent left-wing voters in Kentucky who would cast a ballot for a candidate who would erase their voice like Amy McGrath.”
Democrats in Kentucky had been hopeful of unseating McConnell after a series of key statewide wins for the party last year, including defeating Republican incumbent Governor Matt Bevin.
McGrath still faces a primary with two other Democrats — state Rep. Charles Booker and Lincoln county farmer Mike Broihier — but is seen as the heavy favorite, The Hill wrote.