Chris Girdler top senate fundraiser, fmr. Metcalfe judge-exec kicks in $100k against Givens

04/27/2012 03:07 PM

The first fundraising reports for state legislative candidates are in and the early returns shows just four candidates with at least $100,000 to spend heading into the final month of the races.

Of those four candidates, just one is an incumbent. The others in the six-figure club include two candidates vying for open seats and a Republican primary challenger who kicked in more than $100,000 of his own money.

These numbers aren’t necessarily indicative of which candidates will win, but it is one measure of support.

Here’s a breakdown:

19th District Democrats
(Open seat in Louisville)
Morgan McGarvey, Louisville: $126,485 raised ……….. $109,198 on hand
Sarah Lynn Cunningham, Louisville: $34,048 raised …..$27,784 on hand
Gary Demling, Louisville: $23,270 raised ………………. $13,600 on hand
Amy Shoemaker, Louisville: $14,600 raised …………… $9,047 on hand

In perhaps the most competitive state Senate race this spring, Louisville lawyer Morgan McGarvey cashed in on many of the political connections he has made since his days serving as driver for Ben Chandler’s 2003 gubernatorial run and later as a staff member for Attorney General Jack Conway.

McGarvey has lined up endorsements from many officials, including state Sen. Tim Shaughnessy, who had represented the 19th District since 1989 but opted not to seek a seventh term.

Environmental activist Sarah Lynn Cunningham has been just as active knocking on doors and handing out yard signs in the district but has just a third of the cash McGarvey does for the home stretch. With no Republican filing in the fall for the district, the winner of this primary is almost assured to be the next senator.

15th District Republicans
(Open seat in Adair, Casey, Pulaski and Russell):
Chris Girdler, Somerset: $146,970 raised …………. $140,999 on hand
Mark Polston, Somerset: $12,524 raised …………… $6,922 on hand
A.C. Donahue, Somerset: $6,514 raised …………… $3,523 on hand
Todd Hoskins, Liberty: N/A

Chris Girdler, former deputy district director for Congressman Hal Rogers, started with the inside track to the nomination. And he claimed the title of top legislative candidate fundraiser of the spring.

Mark Polston has sought to paint himself as the tea party candidate but badly trails in resources.

9th District Republicans
(Allen, Barren, Edmonson, Metcalfe, Green and Simpson)
Sen. David Givens, Greensburg: $45,900 raised ……. $56,132 on hand
Don Butler, Edmonton: $109,300 raised* …………….. $100,814 on hand

  • All but $300 of that came from Butler’s personal funds

Don Butler, the former Metcalfe County judge-executive and a funeral home operator, kicked in more than $100,000 of his own money after receiving only one $300 check from anyone else.

The personal loan to his campaign helps him nearly double the cash on hand of incumbent Sen. David Givens of Greensburg, who is running for a second four-year term.

23rd District Republicans
(Open seat in part of Kenton)
Chris McDaniel, Taylor Mill: $30,527 raised …………… $34,830 on hand
Will Terwort, Fort Mitchell: $10,725 raised ……………. $7,529 on hand

Chris McDaniel, who runs a cement company, has raised a total of $65,472 since entering the race last fall but has burned through about half of it already. Still, he has five times the cash of Fort Mitchell Councilman Will Terwort.

37th District Republicans (Southern Jefferson County)
Chris Thieneman, Louisville: $32,500 raised ………….. $32,360 on hand
Doug Hawkins, Louisville: $238 raised …………………. $238 on hand
John Yuen, Louisville: No report after raising less than $1,000

Former University of Louisville football player and developer Chris Thieneman leaped out to a huge money lead as former Louisville Councilman Doug Hawkins only raised $238. Engineer John Yuen did not raise enough to file a report.

17th District Republicans (Scott, Grant, Owen and part of Kenton)
Sen. Damon Thayer, Georgetown: $12,175 raised ………… $101,895 on hand
Rick Hostetler, Georgetown: $0 raised ………………… $9,661 on hand

Sen. Damon Thayer of Georgetown ended 2011 with more than $100,000 in the bank and spent roughly the same $12,000 he raised over the last three months. Hostetler has pledged to raise as little as possible.

35th District Democrats (Louisville)
Sen. Denise Harper Angel, Louisville: $8,725 raised ………… $21,029 on hand
Curtis Morrison, Louisville: $1,291 raised ……………………… $431 on hand

Sen. Denise Harper Angel brought in less than $9,000 but also spent only about half that much over the last three months. Despite the limited fundraising she still has more than 42 times the amount of money as her opponent, activist Curtis Morrison.

11th District Republicans (Boone and part of Kenton)
Sen. John Schickel, Union: $13,360 raised …………….. $65,249 on hand
Joshua Turner, Florence: $990 raised …………………… $17.50 on hand

Sen. John Schickel faces a minimal challenge from 35-year-old Joshua Turner.

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