- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Kentucky Democrat Jack Conway reported Tuesday he surpassed Republican Rand Paul in second-quarter fundraising in their race for a U.S. Senate seat but needed to lend his campaign hundreds of thousands to reach the $1.4 million mark.

The campaign said Mr. Conway, the state’s attorney general, lent himself $400,000 and that his campaign now has nearly $4 million on hand.

Mr. Paul has reported raising $1.1 million in the three-month period that ended in June, which gives his campaign roughly $3.8 million in total contributions.

Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, said the question of whether Mr. Conway lent himself the money to beat Mr. Conway is largely irrelevant because the candidates are so close in fundraising that money will not be the major factor.

“The race will be decided by the national tide and how well they campaign,” he said. “Fundraising makes a big difference only when there are giant [money] gaps between campaigns.”

Mr. Sabato also said the better numbers will be the official ones reported Thursday to the Federal Election Commission, which will indicate how well each candidate recovered from tough primary battles.

Conway spokeswoman Allison Haley suggested as much in a campaign statement that in part said, “The successful fundraising effort on the heels of winning the primary is a clear message that voters want a senator who will bring accountability to Wall Street and Washington.”

However, she declined to discuss the numbers.

An averaging of polls by the Real Clear Politics website has Mr. Paul leading by 4.4 percentage points.

The Paul campaign appeared to stick with its “outsider” approach to the race in response to the most recent Conway fundraising numbers.

“Union bosses, trial lawyers and other groups out of sync with Kentucky values opened up their wallets for Jack Conway,” the campaign said. “But we are proud to have beaten the liberal special interest money with small contributions from real grass-roots Americans.”

The Paul campaign also lost top strategist David Adams, who said he is leaving to manage the campaign of an unnamed gubernatorial candidacy.

Mr. Adams said his departure was not the result of internal conflict. However, he was replaced as Mr. Paul’s campaign manager a week after a round of interviews in which Mr. Paul’s views on racial segregation sparked controversy.

In North Carolina, Republican incumbent Sen. Richard M. Burr has announced raising more than $1.9 million in the second quarter, bringing his total cash-on-hand to $6.3 million. He will face Democrat Elaine Marshall, North Carolina’s secretary of state, in the November election.

The latest reports also outline how big-name political action committees are spending money on races — one being the filings from former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Republican.

Huck PAC gave $11,500 to state and congressional candidates in South Carolina, including $1,000 each to incumbent Rep. Joe Wilson and House candidates Jeff Duncan, Mick Mulvaney and Trey Gowdy, said J. Hogan Gidley, the group’s executive director.

Meanwhile, Dick Morris, the former Clinton political adviser who turned his back on Democrats and embraced conservatives, has stepped into the U.S. Senate race in Nevada to help Republican candidate Sharron Angle raise money.

Mrs. Angle is trying to unseat incumbent Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, who is on track to raise $25 million, an unprecedented amount in the state, compared with Mrs. Angle’s roughly $1.2 million through May 19, according to federal records.

“The campaign in Nevada to replace Harry Reid is in a desperate situation and needs your help,” Mr. Morris writes in an e-mail solicitation for the Las Vegas-based Americans for New Leadership, which was formed last week and began airing television ads critical of Mr. Reid.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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