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By JOHN FRIEDLEIN
With relatively little campaign cash on hand, Democrat David Boswell has tapped a recent U.S. Senate candidate to serve as his finance chairman.
Louisville businessman Greg Fischer said he will bring a “good feel for fundraising” to Boswell’s campaign.
Fischer co-invented an ice and beverage dispenser, which is used in many restaurants, and runs a stadium bleacher company. He finished second in the May Democratic primary behind another wealthy Louisville entrepreneur, Bruce Lunsford.
Fischer, whose campaign raised $1.6 million in the primary, said Boswell picked him in part to close the money deficit with Republican opponent Sen. Brett Guthrie of Bowling Green.
“This move should be beneficial to Boswell’s campaign with regard to fundraising,” said Joel Turner, a Western Kentucky University political science professor, in an e-mail.
Because of Boswell’s cash problems, it helps him to bring in somebody with a “track record of raising money while facing quality opponents.”
But, overall, Turner said he doesn’t think it will significantly alter the race’s dynamics; even if Fischer does a “tremendous job” it’s not likely to wipe out Guthrie’s advantage with slightly more than two months until the election.
Fischer and Boswell crossed paths on the stump earlier this year.
“I was very impressed with this man,” said Boswell, who is a state senator from Owensboro. The campaign volunteer “obviously knows about finances.”
The state’s 2nd U.S. House district — with more than 600,000 residents in 21 central and western Kentucky counties — has several TV markets, which adds to the importance of raising money.
After the 2006 race, Democrat Mike Weaver cited being outspent on TV ads as a reason for his loss.
Guthrie had a cash-on-hand total of roughly $661,000 at the end of last month, according to the Web site OpenSecrets.org. Boswell reported about $45,000.
Boswell, a former state agriculture commissioner, raised around $200,000 in his primary race against Daviess County Judge-Executive Reid Haire.
Also, Boswell said he has raised roughly $140,000 since the last reporting period. He said he doesn’t have to generate enough funds to match his opponent — “just enough to win.”
Fischer said he feels good about Boswell’s position in the race.
Despite the money deficit and 14 years of the district voting for a Republican congressman, a SurveyUSA poll released in late June showed Boswell with a statistically insignificant lead of 3 points.
The seat became open in January when Republican Ron Lewis of Cecilia, who has served the district for the past 14 years, announced he would not seek re-election.
John Friedlein can be reached at (270) 505-1746.