McConnell and Ensign contribute to Estabrook

Less than an hour before state Sen. Joe Pennacchio is to formally announed his run for U.S. Senate, one of his likely primary opponents has trumpeted the support of two powerful out-of-state Republican Senators.

According to a press release from Anne Evans Estabrook’s campaign, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Ensign (R-NV) contributed $5,000 and $10,000 to her campaign, respectively.

“I am excited that people like Anne step forward and agree to run for public office. She is a business leader who knows how to get things done and to make a difference,” said Ensign in a statement. “This is a race we can win.”

Although it's NRSC policy not to officially endorse any candidate, Estabrook campaign manager Mark Duffy said that it shows that the party is coalescing around her.

“This is a strong tide of Republican support for Anne,” he said. “This support clearly shows Anne’s message of change, reform and fiscal responsibility is catching fire.”

John Randall, a spokesman for the NRSC, said the money came from Ensign's campaign fund, not the committee.

McConnell and Ensign make up a significant chunk of Estabrook's donors. So far, she's raised about $1.7 million – $1.6 million of which is her own. McConnell and Ensign contribute to Estabrook