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WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. French Hill raised more than 30 times as much money as his two Democratic challengers -- combined -- during the third quarter of the year, according to Federal Election Commission reports.

U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, a four-term Republican from Rogers, raised more than 10 times as much money as his Democratic challenger or his Republican primary opponent.

Hill, a second-term Republican from Little Rock, received campaign contributions totaling $417,894.25 between July 1 and Sept. 30.

The former banker, who represents Arkansas' 2nd Congressional District, had cash on hand of nearly $1.2 million for the 2018 campaign.

Paul Spencer, a government and history teacher at Little Rock Catholic High School, collected $8,797.07 during the same period. The Scott Democrat had $4,461.43 cash on hand. Gwen Combs, a Stephens Elementary School gifted-and-talented specialist, raised $4,618.76. The Little Rock Democrat finished the quarter with $3,694.75.

"Congressman French Hill's strong quarter of fundraising demonstrates the broad base of support he has from Arkansans who share his pro-job, pro-opportunity agenda," campaign spokesman Mike Siegel said in a written statement.

Spencer said he is running "a people-powered race" and won't accept "special interest money."

"It's clear from our fundraising efforts that the energy is on our side in this race," Spencer's written statement said. "From county meetings to fairs to neighborhood gatherings and college campuses, we have encountered a staggering level of support for our message across the communities of our district."

Combs said that all of her donations had come from individual contributors; the smallest being $1 and the largest being $500. "If I can reach people like this, I believe it speaks volumes about people wanting to see change in Washington," she said in a text message.

The numbers are a pretty good start, she said in a separate interview, noting that she's a first-time candidate. "We have a long ways to go and the speed will pick up as soon as I get a finance director hired."

Womack, who represents most of Northwest Arkansas, had contributions of $103,050 and cash on hand of nearly $1.3 million.

His Republican challenger, the Rev. Robert Ryerse of Springdale, reported contributions of $6,443.49 with cash on hand of $3,184.50. The Democrat in the race, Josh Mahony of Fayetteville, raised $9,787 and had cash on hand of $14,599. The 3rd Congressional District candidate also had campaign debts and obligations totaling $6,666.

Mahony couldn't be reached for comment Monday. A spokesman for the Womack campaign declined to comment.

In an interview, Ryerse said fund raising is starting to pick up, and October is already his strongest month yet. "Our numbers are small but moving in the right direction," he added.

The Republican incumbent's acceptance of corporate donations is unhealthy, Ryerse said.

"Congressman Womack is beholden to the people that fund his campaign. The issues he cares about, the things that he fights for, are the things that his corporate donors want and he consistently puts the desires of the party establishment and the corporate donors ahead of the needs of the people of Arkansas."

In Arkansas' 1st Congressional District, U.S. Rick Crawford reported contributions of $53,257.07. The Republican from Jonesboro had cash on hand of $312,777.86.

In the state's 4th Congressional District, U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman had donations of $153,460.67. The Republican from Hot Springs reported cash on hand of $621,970.35.

No other reports were listed on the FEC website.

Metro on 10/17/2017

Print Headline: Womack, Hill piles top $1M

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