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Bunning Will Not Match Grayson’s Fundraising

Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) acknowledged in a conference call with state reporters on Tuesday that Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson’s (R) $600,000 haul in the second quarter would outpace his own fundraising total.

Bunning — who is viewed as the most vulnerable Senator this cycle in large part because of his weak fundraising efforts — also congratulated Grayson on his strong fundraising performance over the past two months, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Grayson announced his exploratory committee in late April and said at the time that he had “no plans to run against Sen. Bunning in 2010,— indicating instead that he would only run if Bunning decided to retire.

And while more recent comments by Grayson seem to indicate a possible change in that stance, Bunning said Tuesday that he remains confident Grayson would not enter the race and Bunning made it clear he intends to run again in 2010.

That comment came as unwelcome news to some high-level party insiders who were hoping Bunning would reassess the race after the end of the second quarter.

In February, Bunning set a $2 million fundraising goal for himself by the end of June, and then in May Bunning said he would “take another look at the race— if he didn’t meet his own internal fundraising goals.

“I’m not going to walk into 2010 with less than $1 million when I know it’s going to cost $7 million minimally, probably $10 [million], somewhere in that area, to run against the winner of the Democratic primary,— Bunning said in May.

“The benchmarks [Bunning] sets continue to evolve based on his own muddled thinking,— one Kentucky GOP insider groused Tuesday morning.

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