12 things to know about the May 19 gubernatorial primary
Campaigns and outside groups active in Kentucky’s governor’s race have raised at least $12.8 million — about one-third of the
$36 million wagered on the Kentucky Derby earlier this month. Ahead of Tuesday’s primary, candidates and their boosters have produced $4 million worth of TV ads, more than double the money spent on TV ads for neighboring
Tennessee's entire 2014 gubernatorial election. Kentucky voters have already been subjected to more than 13,800 TV ads leading up to Tuesday’s gubernatorial primary — a quarter of which were bought by independent groups.
Call it a rich man’s race? Every GOP candidate in Kentucky’s gubernatorial primary is the top funder of his own campaign: Heiner $4.2 million; Bevin $1.75 million; Comer $95,000; Scott $198,000.
Fueled by his own millions, Heiner — a commercial real estate developer and former legislator — put up his first campaign ad for this race nearly a year ago.
GOP candidate Heiner is also getting a boost from two groups — one
political action committee, one nonprofit — that bashed his opponents with $330,000 in TV ads. A
PAC run by Heiner’s former campaign manager is attacking Heiner's opponents in Kentucky’s GOP primary. Its top backers are wealthy Kentuckian Ward Correll and his son Jess. Citizens for a Sound Government, a nonprofit that does not disclose its donors, has paid for $240,000 in ads attacking Heiner’s opponents. The group also gave $120,000 to another group boosting Heiner.
Colorado-based Citizens for a Sound Government used the same playbook in the
Nebraska governor’s GOP primary last year. Outside money has boosted Comer’s camp, too. A
group funded by coal executive Joseph Craft and businessman Terry Stephens has spent $550,000 on ads touting him for Kentucky governor. If Tuesday’s GOP primary winner beats the Democratic nominee in November, he would be only the fourth Republican to
occupy the Kentucky governor’s mansion since 1931. Kentucky’s race is one of only three gubernatorial primaries in 2015. Mississippi’s primary is Aug. 4. Louisiana’s is Oct. 24.