LITTLE ROCK — With Election Day nearing and no Democratic opponent on the ballot, U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton’s campaign war chest has swelled to nearly $6.3 million, according to Federal Election Commission reports.
The Little Rock Republican raised $1.98 million during the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30.
Cotton’s Libertarian opponent, former missionary and prison chaplain Ricky Dale Harrington of Pine Bluff, reported raising $34,897 and having cash on hand of $28,157.
Thursday was the deadline for U.S. House and Senate candidates to submit campaign-finance reports to the Federal Election Commission.
Cotton raised the most of any Arkansan. His latest campaign finance report was 4,605 pages long; Harrington’s took up 18 pages.
Both camps portrayed their numbers as good news.
“Thanks to the support of thousands of Arkansans from all 75 counties, Senator Cotton is entering the final weeks of the election with more cash on hand than any Senate candidate in Arkansas’s history,” wrote Brian Colas, the campaign’s political director.
Harrington’s fundraising has already eclipsed previous Arkansas Libertarian campaigns, party officials said.
And the pace of giving has accelerated in recent days, Harrington supporters say.
“Every hour of the day, we’re getting probably 10 to 15 donations,” said Matthew Mears, Harrington’s campaign manager. “We’ve got donations pouring in right now.”
Cotton spent Thursday morning in Faulkner County, learning about construction projects at the University of Central Arkansas and visiting with pharmacists at Conway MedCare Pharmacy.
Asked afterward about the election, Cotton said he will be highlighting his record.
“I’ve spent the last six years trying to serve the people of Arkansas on the issues that matter most to them and that’s what I’ve run this campaign on,” he said. “I hope that the people of Arkansas look at the work I’ve done over the last six years and they give me the honor of serving another term.”
One day after appearing at an Arkansas PBS forum that Cotton did not attend, Harrington took care of his three children, conducted an interview by Zoom web conferencing software and participated in a candidate forum sponsored by the El Dorado branch of the NAACP, he said
In order to win, it’s crucial for his campaign to be inclusive, he said.
“There’s room for everybody. [We’re] trying to unite people across the political spectrum,” he said. “If we don’t hold to that, there’s definitely no path to victory in Arkansas.”
While Natural State congressional candidates were seeking votes this week, their campaign treasurers were putting the final touches on their Federal Election Commission paperwork.
In the 2nd Congressional District, state Sen. Joyce Elliott, D-Little Rock, reported third-quarter contributions of about $1.5 million and cash on hand of $586,103.
Republican U.S. Rep. French Hill of Little Rock listed about $1.05 million and cash on hand of just over $1.5 million.
Elliott and Hill had previously announced some details about their fundraising.
In the 3rd Congressional District, Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Womack of Rogers raised $236,388 and had cash on hand of $1.45 million. The campaign didn’t comment on its totals.
Democrat Celeste Williams of Bella Vista reported $101,310 in contributions and cash on hand of $84,722.
“We’re proud of our numbers and grateful beyond measure to those investing to Elect a Nurse!” Williams said in a written statement. “I am happy that we’ve had the resources to buy television ads and broadcast our message out to the people of Arkansas’s Third.”
Libertarian candidate Michael Kalagias of Rogers was not required to file a report because his fundraising was less than $5,000, he said.
In the 4th Congressional District, Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman of Hot Springs listed $265,830 in donations and cash on hand of $1.08 million.
His Democratic challenger, William Hanson of Hot Springs, reported contributions of $6,391, cash on hand of $14,816 but debts and obligations of $69,200.
Libertarian candidate Frank Gilbert of Tull said his fundraising was also less than $5,000 and he wouldn’t be filing a report.
Republican U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford of Jonesboro is running unopposed for reelection. He received $132,200 in contributions and had cash on hand of $268,107.
Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman of Rogers, who isn’t up for reelection until 2022, rep