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Sanders still outraising opponents in campaign for governor

by Michael R. Wickline | September 17, 2022 at 6:55 a.m.
Arkansas' 2022 candidates for governor are (from left) Republican Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Democrat Chris Jones and Libertarian Ricky Dale Harrington.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Sarah Huckabee Sanders raised about $409,000 in contributions in August as her Democratic rival Chris Jones collected about $322,000 in contributions, according to their latest campaign finance reports.

Along with Libertarian candidate Ricky Dale Harrington, Sanders and Jones are vying to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson in the Nov. 8 general election. Early voting starts Oct. 24.

Campaign finance reports for candidates for state offices were due in the secretary of state’s office Thursday. Sanders’ report was filed Thursday night.

Sanders spokesman Judd Deere said Friday that with “just over 50 days to go until Election Day, Sarah continues to receive incredible support and has the resources needed to take her message of freedom and opportunity to all 75 counties.”

“It’s clear Arkansans want a leader who has the vision and plans to take this state to the top,” Deere said in a written statement.

Jones spokesman Clint Schaff said Friday the new reports “show that momentum for Chris Jones’ plans to unlock the promise of Arkansas continues to build, so does excitement on the ground as thousands volunteer to knock on doors and talk with neighbors.”

“Arkansans are fired up!” he said in a written statement. “We are confident with our strategy, which wins votes through talking directly with Arkansans and with neighbors talking with neighbors. Arkansans are supporting Chris Jones for governor because they are choosing community over chaos.”

In August, Sanders of Little Rock reported raising $409,059.11 in contributions and spending $316,750.49 for the general election.

That boosted the amount that she has reported raising to $7.4 million and spending to $1 million for the general election, leaving a balance of $6.4 million Aug. 31. After she raised and spent $13.1 million in the primary election, she transferred $4.2 million from her primary election campaign to her general election campaign.

Sanders’ campaign began what it has described as a $3.5 million paid media campaign with its first statewide general election television ad Sept. 3.

In August, Jones of Little Rock reported raising $322,868.27 and spending $278,144.73 for the general election.

That increased the total contributions he has reported receiving to $985,841.02 and total expenses to $822,286.42 for the general election, leaving a balance of $163,554.60 on Aug. 31. After he raised and spent $1.9 million in the primary election, he transferred $69,431 from the primary election campaign to the general election campaign.

Through the end of July, Sanders’ campaign had received about 57% of her total contributions from out-of-state donors listed by name and address in campaign contribution data, according to an analysis by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. State rules don’t require candidates to identify donors of less than $50.

In contrast, Jones had received 46% of his contributions from identified out-of-state donors.

The reasons behind Sanders’ out-of-state money, political experts and donors say, include her national profile as White House press secretary for President Donald Trump, with her face and statements broadcast frequently in national news reports. She also profits from Trump’s endorsement and the continued national presence of her father, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who ran for president in 2008.

In August, Harrington of Pine Bluff reported raising $862 and spending $7,076.77 for the general election, boosting the total raised to $32,566.72 and total expenses to $25,400.82, leaving a balance of $7,165.90 on Aug. 31.

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR

In August, Republican candidate Leslie Rutledge of Maumelle reported raising $17,772 and spending $25,495.30 for the general election.

That boosted total contributions received to $551,165.06 and total expenses to $111,133.82 for the general election, leaving a balance of $440,031.24. She has served as the attorney general since 2015.

In August, Democratic candidate Kelly Krout of Lowell reported raising $27,122.02 and spending $27,040.15 for the general election.

That increased the total amount raised in contributions to $211,451.88, loans to her campaign to $100 and total expenses to $178,068.43 for the primary and general elections, leaving a balance of $33,483.45 on Aug. 31.

In August, Libertarian candidate Frank Gilbert of Little Rock reported raising no contributions and spending $125 for the general election. That increased the total contributions that he has raised to $2,913.17 and his total expenses to $918.81, leaving a balance of $2,054.36 on Aug. 31.

ATTORNEY GENERAL

In August, Republican candidate Tim Griffin of Little Rock reported raising $32,308 in contributions and spending $77,771.59 for the general election.

That increased the total amount he has raised to $1.4 million and his total expenses to $176,143.41 for the general election, leaving a balance of $1.3 million Aug. 31. He has served as lieutenant governor since 2015.

In August, Democratic candidate Jesse Gibson of Little Rock reported raising $44,711.48 and spending $46,343.18 for the general election.

That increased the amount he has raised to $360,786.11, loans to his campaign to $42,500 and total expenses to $352,367.72 for the primary and general elections, leaving a balance of $51,043.39 on Aug. 31.

SECRETARY OF STATE

In August, Republican incumbent John Thurston of East End reported raising $16,940 in contributions, loaning his campaign $167.40 and spending $2,070.13 for the general election.

That boosted the total contributions he has received to $38,686.50, his total loans to $1,307.38 and total expenses to $10,146.67 for the general election, leaving a balance of $29,847.21 as of Aug. 31, according to his report. He has served as secretary of state since 2019.

In August, Democratic candidate Anna Beth Gorman of North Little Rock reported raising $22,801.56 in contributions and expenses of $17,345.90 for the general election.

That increased the amount she has raised to $192,462.43 and total expenses to $164,199.33 for the primary and general election campaigns, leaving a balance of $28,168.61 as of Aug. 31, according to her report.

TREASURER

In August, Republican candidate Rep. Mark Lowery of Maumelle reported raising $5,250 in contributions and spending $3,642.81 for the general election. That increased his total amount raised to $98,239.32 and total expenses to $47,041.56 for the primary and general elections, leaving a balance of $51,197.76 on Aug. 31, according to his report.

In August, Democratic candidate Pam Whitaker of Little Rock reported raising and spending nothing for the general election. She reported total contributions received as $7,229.49 and total expenses as $2,079.98 for the primary and general election campaigns, leaving a balance of $5,149.51 on Aug. 31, according to her report.

AUDITOR

In August, Republican candidate Dennis Milligan of Benton reported raising $2,750 and spending $1,648.68 for the general election.

In total, he reported raising $41,428.69 and spending $7,181.69, leaving a balance of $34,247 as of Aug. 31.

Milligan has served as the state treasurer since 2015.

Democratic candidate Diamond Arnold-Johnson of Mabelvale filed a report Wednesday that showed she raised and spent nothing in the primary campaign through May 24.

LAND COMMISSIONER

In August, Republican incumbent Tommy Land of Heber Springs reported raising $5,650 and spending $5,651.19 for the general election.

That boosted his total contributions to $58,086.67, his loans to his campaign to $3,000 and total expenses to $19,736.18, leaving a balance of $41,726.16 on Aug. 31. He has served as land commissioner since 2019.

In August, Democratic candidate Darlene Goldi Gaines of Little Rock reported raising $2,795 and spending $166.01 for the general election, increasing her total contributions received to $12,348.92 and total expenses to $6,523.29. She reported a balance of $5,825.63 as of Aug. 31.

SUPREME COURT

District Judge Chris Carnahan of Conway reported raising $22,854 and spending $133,14 in August.

That increased the total contributions he has raised to $129,714, total loans to his campaign to $26,798.07 and total expenses to $125,789.19, leaving a balance of $31,401.53 on Aug. 31, according to his report.

Carnahan’s contributions in August include $2,900 apiece from former Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee’s Huck PAC, Cleburne County Republican Committee, Cleburne County Republican Women’s Club, and Faulkner County Republican Women.

Supreme Court Justice Robin Wynne of Little Rock reported raising $330 and spending nothing in August.

That increased the total contributions he has raised to $80,257.76, his loans to his campaign to $10,000 and total expenses to $85,130, leaving a balance of $5,127.76 on Aug. 31, according to his report. He has served on the Supreme Court since 2014.

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