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Candidates break fundraising records

FRANKFORT - Kentucky's two U.S. Senate candidates shattered their own fundraising records on Tuesday as they collectively raised more than $7 million heading into the November election.

McConnell raised $3.1 million from April to June this year, the best showing of his Senate career. But it still wasn't enough to top Alison Lundergan Grimes, his Democratic challenger who raised more than $4 million in her bid to unseat the 30-year incumbent.

The fundraising hauls dwarfed those of the other competitive Senate races across the country, cementing Kentucky's status as a focal point of the 2014 midterm elections.

In the four fundraising quarters that Grimes has been a candidate, she has outraised McConnell in three of them. But July was her biggest victory yet, where she bested McConnell by nearly $1 million.

"We went form Sen. McConnell having a 10 to 1 cash advantage over us to now just a little bit over 1.5," Grimes campaign manager Jonathan Hurst said. "We have closed the gap to something that is very manageable."

The McConnell campaign has $9.8 million in the bank compared to Grimes' $6.2 million, a $3.6 million advantage with less than four months to go before the Nov. 4 general election. That's despite McConnell having to traverse a bruising primary election in which Louisville businessman Matt Bevin spent more than $3.5 million against him.

Grimes, meanwhile, had no serious primary opposition.

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