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Hopefuls file funds reports for state races

For quarter, Sanders adds $4.2 million, Rutledge $215,000 by Michael R. Wickline | July 16, 2021 at 7:11 a.m.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders (right) and Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge visit Republican Party headquarters in Little Rock in this Nov. 8, 2019, file photo. The two had submitted paperwork to put President Donald Trump’s name on the 2020 ballot in the state.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Sarah Huckabee Sanders raised $4.2 million last quarter to increase her total fundraising haul to $9.1 million, Sanders reported Thursday.

The other Republican gubernatorial candidate, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, reported raising more than $215,000 in contributions in the second quarter of 2021 to increase her total contributions to $1.4 million.

Meanwhile, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Jones led the four Democratic candidates' fundraising last quarter with more than $587,000 in contributions. He announced his bid for governor on June 15 -- halfway through the third and final month of the quarter that ended June 30.

Thursday was the deadline for state candidates to file their quarterly campaign finance reports with the secretary of state's office. The filing period for candidates for state and federal offices in Arkansas is scheduled for Feb. 22, 2022, through March 1, 2022, with the primary election on May 24 and general election on Nov. 8, 2022.

[RELATED: Full coverage of elections in Arkansas » arkansasonline.com/elections/]

Sanders said her campaign's fundraising is a record for any campaign for governor in the state's history, and she is thankful for the outpouring of support.

Arkansans contributed more than $1.5 million to her campaign last quarter, and nearly 9,000 Arkansans have contributed a total of $3 million to her campaign, she noted.

"It's clear Arkansans want a leader who will defend our freedom and stand up to the radical left, grow our economy and create jobs, and increase access to quality education and opportunity for a brighter, more prosperous future," Sanders said in a written statement.

She is a former White House press secretary for President Donald Trump and the daughter of former Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee. She announced her bid for governor in late January.

Rutledge, who launched her campaign in July 2020, said "I am always humbled by the continued financial support from voters all across the state of Arkansas and am extremely proud that 80% of my donors are Arkansans."

"COVID-19 and 2020 taught us that governors have a real impact on the daily lives of every citizen," she said in a written statement. "I am the only candidate in this race with real leadership experience making decisions every day on behalf of 3 million Arkansans, an actual record of accomplishments, and a vision for Arkansas. Part of that vision was the announcement earlier this quarter about my plan to eliminate the state income tax to make Arkansas grow our economy and make our state competitive once again."

Rutledge's announcement in May came a few days after Sanders tweeted about her support for eventually getting rid of the state's income tax.

For the primary, Sanders of Little Rock reported raising $3.7 million in contributions and spending $1.8 million last quarter to increase her total contributions to $7.68 million and total expenses to $2.7 million, leaving a balance of $4.8 million on June 30.

For the general election, she reported raising $515,483 and spending nothing to increase her total contributions to $1.4 million, leaving a balance of $1.42 million on June 30.

For the primary, Rutledge of Maumelle reported raising $154,741 in contributions and spending $125,705.88 last quarter to increase her total contributions to $1 million and total expenses to $299,584, leaving a balance of $764,704 on June 30.

For the general election, Rutledge reported raising $61,700 and spending nothing last quarter to increase her total contributions to $383,000, leaving a balance of $383,000 on June 30.

For the primary, Jones of Little Rock reported raising $582,847 in contributions and spending $47,808 last quarter, leaving a balance of $535,038 on June 30.

For the general election, he reported raising $4,400 in contributions last quarter, leaving a balance of $4,400 on June 30.

"This is a campaign about Arkansas's potential, and I am deeply grateful that so many people have already stepped up and decided to get involved," Jones said in a written statement.

"This incredible early support and excitement from Arkansans will allow us to build the kind of operation that shows up and listens, engages in the real-world concerns of Arkansans across the state and organizes people to take action," said Jones, who is a former head of the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub.

The three other Democratic gubernatorial candidates reported the following figures on their reports:

• Businesswoman Supha Xayprasith-Mays of Little Rock raised $7,400 in contributions and spent $799 last quarter. That left her with a balance of $14,000 on June 30.

• Teacher Anthony Bland Sr. of Little Rock raised $3,175 in contributions, received a $750 campaign loan from James Lowery of Hot Springs, and spent $1,893 last quarter for the primary, leaving a balance of $2,031 on June 30. He announced his bid for governor on June 23.

• Businessman James Russell III of Little Rock raised $2,115 in contributions, loaned his campaign $3,000 and spent $5,005 last quarter for the primary. That boosted his total contributions to $4,625, his total loans to the campaign to $4,000 and his total expenses to $6,612, leaving a balance of $2,022 on June 30

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR

The four announced Republican candidates for lieutenant governor reported the following campaign finance figures:

• State Sen. Jason Rapert of Conway raised $187,756 in contributions and spent $28,064 last quarter for the primary. That increased his total contributions to $217,181 and total expenses to $43,354, leaving a balance of $173,827 on June 30.

For the general election, he raised $12,700 in contributions last quarter, leaving a balance of $12,700.

• Former state Republican Party Chairman Doyle Webb of Benton raised $120,140 in contributions, loaned his campaign $365 and spent $9,384 last quarter and for the primary, leaving a balance of $111,120 on June 30. Webb announced his bid for lieutenant governor on May 4.

• State Surgeon General Greg Bledsoe of Little Rock raised $109,055 in contributions and spent $8,327 last quarter for the primary. That boosted his total contributions to $209,500 and total expenses to $13,463 for the primary, leaving a balance of $196,036.

• Washington County's County Judge Joseph Wood of Fayetteville raised $32,920 in contributions and spent $437 for the primary, leaving a balance of $32,491 on June 30. Wood announced his campaign for lieutenant governor on May 17.

ATTORNEY GENERAL

Republican Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin of Little Rock reported raising $72,939 in contributions and spending $107,416 last quarter for the primary. That boosted his total contributions to $1.46 million and his total expenses to $317,268, leaving a balance of $1.1 million on June 30.

For the general election, Griffin reported raising $17,100 and spending nothing last quarter. That increased his total contributions to $592,735 and his total expenses to $15,800, leaving a balance of $576,935 on June 30.

Republican candidate Leon Jones Jr. of Little Rock, the state's former Fair Housing Commission director, reported raising $12,650 in contributions and spending $9,271 last quarter for the primary. That increased his total contributions to $48,050 and total expenses to $18,783, leaving a balance of $29,266 on June 30.

Democratic candidate Jesse Gibson, an attorney from Little Rock, reported raising $87,235 in contributions, loaning his campaign $25,000 and spending $10,640 for the primary, leaving a balance of $101,594 on June 30. He announced his campaign on May 25.

SECRETARY OF STATE

Secretary of State John Thurston, an East End Republican, reported raising $22,800 in contributions and spending $30 last quarter for the primary. That increased his total contributions to $24,300 and total expenses to $511, leaving a balance of $38,298 on June 30.

For the general election, he received a $2,800 contribution last quarter, leaving a balance of $2,800 on June 30.

Democratic candidate Joshua Price of Maumelle reported raising $13,960 in contributions and spending $153 last quarter for the primary, leaving a balance of $13,806 on June 30. The former Pulaski County election commissioner announced his campaign on July 7.

TREASURER

State Sen. Matthew Pitsch, R-Fort Smith, who is running for state treasurer, reported raising $34,000 in contributions and spending $3,355 last quarter and in total for the primary, leaving a balance of $32,670 on June 30.

AUDITOR

State Treasurer Dennis Milligan, a Republican from Benton running for state auditor, reported raising $17,125 in contributions and spending $52 last quarter for the primary election. That increased his total contributions to $32,825, kept his loans to his campaign at $483 and increased total expenses to $601 for the primary, leaving a balance of $32,706 on June 30.

Milligan reported raising $2,800 last quarter for the general election. That increased his total contributions to $3,300, leaving a balance of $3,300 on June 30 for the general election.

LAND COMMISSIONER

Land Commissioner Tommy Land, a Republican from Heber Springs, reported raising $1,100 in contributions and spending $2,209 last quarter for the primary. That increased his total contributions to $20,511, interest earnings to $118 and total expenses to $2,209, leaving a balance of $18,420 on June 30.

Print Headline: Hopefuls file funds reports for state races

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