U.S. Senator Jim Bunning says he won’t seek a third term in 2010, citing a lack of campaign funds.
Bunning, in a statement released by his office Monday, said his relatively light campaign warchest is the result of an effort by Senate Republican leaders to dry up his fundraising.
It’s a complaint Bunning repeated often during his regular conference calls with reporters.
“When they recruit someone to run against you in the primary it puts doubt in people’s minds that you are going to finish the race. Therefore you are waiting and waiting and waiting,” Bunning said in March.
Bunning contended that GOP leaders, including his colleague Mitch McConnell, tried to recruit Kentucky Senate President David Williams to challenge him in the primary. Williams later said he would not run.
Bunning’s decision sets the stage for a GOP primary that will include Secretary of State Trey Grayson and Bowling Green eye doctor Rand Paul, among others.
High-profile Democrats seeking the seat include Attorney General Jack Conway and Lt Gov. Dan Mongiardo.