Sen. Bunning Not Seeking Re-Election
Republican Sen. Jim Bunning of Kentucky announced Monday he will not seek a third term in 2010, blaming Republican leadership for his inability to raise campaign funds.
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
"Over the past year, some of the leaders of the Republican Party in the Senate have done everything in their power to dry up my fundraising," Bunning said in a statement. "The simple fact is that I have not raised the funds necessary to run an effective campaign for the U.S. Senate."
Bunning had raised less than $600,000 by the end of June, in spite of the fact he has been accepting contributions since 2005, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. The newspaper reported earlier this week that more than 100 Republican donors gave up their support for Bunning in favor of Secretary of State Trey Grayson, who has formed a exploratory committee for a Senate bid.
Republican leaders were urging the 77-year-old Bunning to consider retiring as a result of his inability to raise money and his low poll numbers, according to CBS News Political Director Steve Chaggaris. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, also from Kentucky, made it known both privately and publicly that he wanted Bunning, a former baseball player, to step down.
"He's doing the Republicans a favor by not running for re-election," Chaggaris said. "With Bunning out of the race, Republicans now won't have an unpopular incumbent fighting for his life in a primary and, if he won, he won't be weighing them down in the general election in a state that is reliably Republican."
Bunning said in his statement he has no plans to endorse a candidate in the Republican primary.
"Like many others in Kentucky, I look forward to seeing where each of the candidates stands on the important issues and I hope a strong conservative wins the primary," he said. "The Republican party needs more people with strong principles and convictions that can stand up to the temptations of political power that have engulfed so many of our leaders after they arrive inside the beltway."
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