U.S. Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky told reporters Tuesday he still intends to seek re-election next year.
It comes following the news that Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, a Bunning protege, raised $600,000 in the second quarter of 2009 toward a possible run for the seat. Grayson has formed an exploratory committee that allows him to raise money, but he says he won’t formally enter the race unless Bunning drops out.
Another Republican, Rand Paul of Bowling Green, also says he won’t enter the race unless Bunning steps aside.
July 15 is the deadline for declared candidates to report their second quarter fundraising. Bunning says he won’t be able to match Grayson’s total, but he should have a significant amount of money in the bank after expenses.
“I think the important thing is how much cash you have on hand and if you’ll be able to run a successful race both in the primary, which I don’t have any problems with, and in the general election,” Bunning said.
Bunning said he expects the winner of the Democratic primary to get a big financial boost from the party’s Senatorial Campaign Committee in the general election, but he doesn’t expect the same commitment from the GOP committee if he wins the Republican primary.