Fundraising update: How the rest of the most interesting primary races are stacking up

04/29/2016 08:22 AM

Editor’s note: This is part two of a two-part breakdown of recent fundraising efforts from legislative candidates. Part one can be viewed here.

We’re rounding out our fundraising updates behind the other half of the most interesting races to watch, which can be an early predictor of support and strength of a candidate’s organization.

  • 23rd House District (open seat, Democratic and Republican primaries)
    Danny Basil vs. Joe Trigg in the Democratic primary.
    Steve Riley vs. Freddie Joe Wilkerson in the Republican primary.

In the open seat race to replace retiring House Majority Whip Johnny Bell, D-Glasgow, attorney Danny Basil has raised $10,760 for the race. He has spent a good chunk of that, according to his 32-day, pre-primary report filed with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance, leaving him with a balance of $1,853.

Fifty-seven-year-old Glasgow City Councilman Joe Trigg, who Bell is backing in the primary, gathered less than $2,000 for the contest, most of which came from his own bank account. Trigg has $108 left in his campaign coffers for the final three weeks of campaigning.

On the Republican side, Steve Riley, a retired principal of Barren County High School, has raised $21,815 since the beginning of the race, according to his finance report filed with KREF. Riley has $14,644 left in the account in his bid for the nomination against Freddie Joe Wilkerson, who retired from the Kentucky Army National Guard.

Wilkerson donated $3,035 to his campaign and has already spent the full amount, leaving his bank account empty ahead of the May 17 primary.

  • 31st Senate District (Democratic primary)
    Senate Minority Floor Leader Ray Jones vs. Glenn Martin Hammond

Incumbent Sen. Ray Jones, D-Pikeville, is locked in a messy re-election, his first since assuming the top role for Senate Democrats as minority floor leader.

Jones, who has served in the General Assembly since 2001, carried over more than $44,000 from previous campaigns into his re-election.

The Democratic leader kept bundling, hitting $299,568 raised, according to his 32-day finance report. Jones donated $105,000 to his campaign via two donations in January.

The Pikeville Democrat and attorney also spent big, leaving his campaign with $225,165 left in his campaign coffers after spending $117,490.

Jones faces first-time candidate Glenn Martin Hammond, who also turned in a six-figure finance report. Hammond has netted $151,451 since the beginning of the race.

Most of that came from his own wallet. Hammond, who is also an attorney, made two donations in April totaling $85,000 on top of the more than $55,000 he gave to his campaign in December.

The winner of the primary will be the next state senator for the district, which encompasses Elliott, Lawrence, Martin, Morgan and Pike counties.

  • 69th House District (Republican primary)
    Rep. Adam Koenig vs. Danny Seifried

Rep. Adam Koenig, R-Erlanger, is fending off his right flank from first-time GOP candidate Danny Seifried, of Florence. The two are finding monetary support in the northern Kentucky region.

Koenig has raised $25,692 since gearing up for the race last year, according to a report filed with KREF. He hasn’t spent much so far in the election and will bring $22,263 to the final weeks of the race — enough to make several lines of attack against his challenger stick.

Seifried also has enough capital to inflict damage. He gathered $15,194 since entering the primary, which will decide the next state representative for the region. Seifried has spent little so far, leaving him with $14,545 in cash-on-hand.

  • 33rd Senate District (Democratic primary)
    Senate Minority Caucus Chair Gerald Neal vs. Charles Booker vs. Joan “Toni” Stringer

Twenty-five-year incumbent Sen. Gerald Neal is facing two Democratic primary opponents, including his former aide and a former district court judge, in the western Louisville District.

Neal, chairman of the Senate Democratic caucus, carried over more than $12,000 in cash from previous elections, but kept bundling for the race. He added $44,145 in donations, $10,000 of that from the Kentucky House Democratic Caucus Campaign Committee, according to his report filed with the registry.

Neal has spent along the way, but enters the final three weeks of the primary with $33,300 in the bank.

Charles Booker, who served as Neal’s legislative aide and campaign advisor in recent elections, raised $15,105 for the race, according to paperwork filed with KREF. Booker has spent a majority of what he has raised, leaving him with $2,086 in cash-on-hand.

Meanwhile, former district court judge Toni Stringer is keeping pace gathering $14,510 in the campaign. Stringer has also been forced to spend her contributions, leaving her with $3,469.

  • 91st House District (Republican primary)
    Randall S. Christopher vs. Toby Herald

Former state Rep. Toby Herald, of Beattyville, who lost the seat by 14 votes to current Rep. Cluster Howard, D-Jackson, has shown no fundraising activity in his hopes for a return to Frankfort.

Herald has $4,667 in his campaign coffers, all of which carried over from his 2014 re-election bid. So far, Herald has not spent any of the cash, according to his 32-day, pre-primary report.

Herald’s path to the general-election ballot may not be an easy one as he faces Randall Christopher, of Irvine, who has been raising money for the primary.

Christopher, the former interim superintendent of Estill County Schools and co-owner of Anglers Outpost & Marine, has raised $15,701 in the primary.

He has $13,049 left in cash-on-hand for the May 17 election.

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or



Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.