Candidates for three contested positions on the Little Rock Board of Directors, all at-large seats, reported raising thousands of dollars for their campaigns as of Tuesday.
Incumbents for two of the seats outraised challengers and received support from more political action committees, while two candidates for a seat without an incumbent raised more than $40,000.
State law requires that candidates submit pre-election reports no later than seven days before the election if they have an opponent and have raised or spent more than $500, not counting the filing fee. Candidates also must submit a final report no later than 30 days after the end of the month of the election.
Penalties for violating the state law that requires filing the forms range from cautionary letters to fines from the Arkansas Ethics Commission.
State law allows candidates to fund their campaigns with an unlimited amount of their own money, reported as a loan from themselves that can be paid off with campaign contributions from others.
At-large City Director Dean Kumpuris, the Position 8 incumbent, raised $103,200, the most of any city board candidate. He reported spending $47,202.17, leaving him with $55,997.83. The time frame listed on his report was Aug. 18 through Monday.
Kumpuris received financial support from two political action committees: $2,800 from Arkansas Realtors Political Action Committee and $1,000 from WL&J PAC.
The maximum contribution amount allowed for the 2020 election cycle is $2,800. Kumpuris received eight donations of that amount, from investor W.R. Stephens Jr., Jessica M. Crowson, physician Bruce Murphy, Laura Doramus and four family members of the late Little Rock steel magnate Thomas Schueck.
He also received $1,000 from fellow At-large City Director Gene Fortson, who will retire from Position 9 after Dec. 31.
Blogger and local government critic Russ Racop reported raising $1,217 and spending $1,011.80, leaving him with $205.20. He listed itemized contributions of $100 from activist Benny Johnson and $120 from realtor Phyllis Harrington.
Retired contractor Phillip Bryant said Tuesday that he had not received any donations but had spent $425 on signs and $350 on radio advertising.
Seven candidates are vying for the seat to be vacated by Fortson at the year's end. Two raised more than $40,000, according to the latest reports available.
Attorney Antwan Phillips was the only Position 9 candidate to report expenditures from an exploratory committee, and has reported contributions and expenditures since January in monthly reports. While a city ordinance prohibits collecting money for a campaign until June, in recent years some candidates have raised funds through exploratory committees because the ordinance specifies that money cannot be raised for "candidates."
Phillips' latest report was not available through the clerk's office by deadline Tuesday night, but his exploratory committee reports show that he began self-funding his campaign in November 2019, with a total of $922.16, and started receiving donations in January.
Phillips' most recent report available, filed Oct. 1, states that he had $19,880.57 on hand as of Aug. 31. His cumulative total raised as of Aug. 31 was $49,876.24, and he had spent $29,995.67 that month.
Among Phillips' contributions the past several months were $500 donations from developer Hank Kelley and Baltimore-based activist DeRay Mckesson.
David Alan Bubbus, president of David's Burgers, reported raising $49,435 and spending $113,812.48 from Aug. 1 to Tuesday. He also self-funded his campaign with $25,000 in loans.
Bubbus received financial support from three political action committees: $250 from Arkansas Realtors Political Action Committee, $500 from Arkansas First and Finest PAC, and $500 from Jobs and Growth PAC.
He received three donations of $2,800 from Lisenne Rockefeller, William G. Rockefeller and Brandon Huffman of Huffman Drywall. U.S. Congressman French Hill, a Little Rock Republican, also gave $250.
Leron McAdoo, an educator in the Little Rock School District, reported Sunday that he had raised $10,544.98 and had spent $6,264.23, leaving him with a balance of $4,280.75. None of his contributions were larger than $250, and he received a $200 donation from former Pulaski County Circuit Judge Marion Humphrey. His report covered July 24 through Oct. 24.
Rohn Muse, an interior designer and an instructor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, primarily self-funded his campaign, reporting $9,337.07 in loans from himself. He had $795 in contributions, the largest of which was $200. Muse reported having spent about $10,000.
Three Position 9 candidates said their spending was under the $500 threshold, and two did not file reports for that reason. Retired economist Dale Pekar said he had not added up his contributions, but his expenses were less than $30. Glen Schwarz, a perennial candidate and marijuana decriminalization advocate, said he had spent about $300, mostly on yard signs.
Tom Horton, a retired pharmacist, filed a report Oct. 19 stating that he had spent $253.62 on yard signs and gas for his truck. The time frame on the report was Aug. 14 to Nov. 3.
At-large City Director Joan Adcock, an incumbent, on Tuesday reported $46,980 in contributions and $33,953.53 in expenditures, with $8,026.47 on hand. She also supported her own campaign with a $5,000 loan.
Adcock listed contributions from three political action committees: $2,800 from Arkansas Realtors Political Action Committee, $1,000 from WL&J PAC and $2,800 from Progress PAC, which lists financial adviser John Copas as its registered agent. Adcock received a $2,800 donation from Lisenne Rockefeller and $1,000 from fellow At-large City Director Gene Fortson.
Adcock has two challengers, human resources professional Sheridan Richards and Greg Henderson, publisher/president of Rock City Eats.
Richards reported Thursday that she had received $28,960 in monetary contributions and spent $23,351.14, leaving her with $5,608.86 in the final days leading up to the election. Richards and her husband, John Richards, also reported supporting her campaign with $1,025 in loans.
Richards' report listed a $300 contribution from the Progressive Arkansas Women Political Action Committee.
Richards received one donation of $2,800 from an executive of Fuller Theological Seminary in California, which she attended.
Henderson reported Tuesday that he had raised $3,776.40 and spent $3,613.23, leaving him with $163.17. The time frame for his report was June 1 to Oct. 27. His largest contribution was $1,000 from artist Linda Harding.
Ward 4 City Director Capi Peck is also up for reelection this year but is running unopposed. She reported raising $35,590 and spending $14,275.89, with $7,564.11 carrying over. She reported giving $13,750 of her campaign funds to charitable causes. Candidates with funds remaining after a campaign may save it for a future campaign, refund it to donors or donate it to charity.
City directors are elected to four-year terms and are paid $18,000 annually. The election is Nov. 3.