Kentucky Sen. Bunning says less money needed for re-election

U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning says he won't need to raise as much money for the 2010 Senate race as he first thought in light of the contested Democratic primary between Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo and Attorney General Jack Conway.

"I've lowered my sights because of the intensity of the primary," Bunning said during a conference call with reporters on Tuesday.

Bunning had said previously that he would need $10 million in his campaign war chest, but now, he says, $7 million will suffice.

Bunning raised $262,843 in the first quarter, bringing his total fund-raising for the campaign to $786,850. He had $375,747 on hand at the end of March.

The Hall of Fame pitcher said he has raised about $125,000 since then – $75,000 at a fund-raiser with baseball legend Tommy Lasorda and about $50,000 at a fund-raiser with Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour.

Mongiardo has raised $429,552 since he started collecting money Feb. 17. He reported having $388,500 on hand last week for the 2010 race. Conway, who recently announced that he will challenge Mongiardo, had not begun raising money.

Meanwhile, according to the Washington-based Hill newspaper, Democrats singled out Bunning and fellow Republican Senators David Vitter of Louisiana, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Jim DeMint of South Carolina as the most difficult to deal with.

One Democratic senator called them "a bunch of 4-year-olds."

According to the story, several Democrats said Bunning in particular is so irascible that they don't even try to speak to him unless it's about baseball.

"Jim just makes it difficult," one Democrat said. "Sometimes you have a sense of where your bipartisan outreach maybe won't be successful, so you tend to not even engage."

Bunning dismissed the article as probably inaccurate.

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