Republican Party candidates for Arkansas' Fourth Congressional District seat have raised more than a half-million dollars for their campaigns.
State Sen. Gene Jeffress of Louann, the only Democrat to formally announce his candidacy, hasn't reported raising any money yet.
Jeffress and a three-person field of Republicans, including Tom Cotton of Dardanelle, Beth Anne Rankin of Magnolia and Marcus Richmond of Waldron, seek to replace U.S. Rep. Mike Ross (D-Prescott) who said earlier this year that he will not run for a seventh two-year term.
More candidates are expected to announce in the coming weeks before the May 22, 2012 party primary.
In quarterly financial statements filed with the Federal Election Commission earlier this month, Richmond reported raising only $18,092 and had $13,917 cash on hand. Rankin - the Republican Party's 2010 congressional candidate -- raised $174,909.83 and had $163,331.32 on hand. Cotton raised $343,029.20 and had $342,875 in the bank.
This article will focus on fundraising by Cotton and Rankin.
Individuals may donate up to $2,500 to a congressional candidate prior to a party primary, and up to an additional $2,500 between the party primary and a general election.
Compared with Cotton, Rankin's list of major donors is relatively short and about half of them live in Columbia County. Notable people among Rankin's donors include former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, for whom Rankin used to work; Anita and Charles Cabe, Gurdon philanthropists; Lisenne Rockefeller, widow of the late Lt. Gov. Win Rockefeller; and philanthropists Shannon and Theodore Skokos - like Rankin, Shannon Skokos is a former Miss Arkansas. Many of Rankin's smaller contributors (in financial terms) have some connection to the Miss Arkansas pageant system.
Also among Rankin's $2,500 primary contributors:
Stephen LaFrance, president of USA Drug of Pine Bluff, who has also given $2,500 to Cotton's campaign; Charles and Imogene Long, oil well production, Norphlet; Charles Saulsbury, Odessa, TX; and Larry Smith, Whitter, AR.
Magnolia-area Rankin contributors of $2,500 include her parents, David and Toni Rankin, and Thomas McWilliams, Nicole McWilliams, Gary Sewell, Kristi Sewell, Debby Story, Jan Story, Max Story, Therrel Story, Chris Weiser, Margo Weiser and Ralph Weiser. With the exception of the Rankins, all of the major contributors are involved in oil and gas production.
Rankin has spent little money so far. Most of what has been spent has gone toward banners, signs, stickers and graphic design work, pay for one staff person, computer software and postage and office supplies.
Cotton's major contributors are drawn primarily from out-of-state residents involved in investment banking, law and the consultant industry.
In-state contributors include people with connections to Murphy Oil and Deltic Timber in El Dorado, the Stephens Group in Little Rock, and Little Rock-based banking and financial interests.
Among Cotton's major Arkansas contributors are Ronald Cameron, Mountaire Corporation chairman, Little Rock; Craig Campbell, Stephens Group, vice chairman; Elizabeth Campbell; John C. Campbell, Arysta Life Science, Helena, territory sales representative; Avis Cotton, principal, Dardanelle School District; Lynn Cotton, Dardanelle, farmer; Sarah Cotton, Friday Aldredge and Clark LLP, attorney, Little Rock; Claiborne P. Deming, self-employed investor, El Dorado; Luke Duffield, Blackstone Construction LLC, Russellville; Dede Ford, Little Rock, homemaker; Joe T. Ford, Westrock Capital Partners, Little Rock; Scott Ford, Westrock Capital Partners, Little Rock; George Gleason, Bank of the Ozarks, CEO, Little Rock; Linda Gleason, Little Rock, Bank of the Ozarks director; Alex Lieblong, Lieblong & Associates, executive, Little Rock; Bobby L. Martin, Rogers, consultant; Rick Massey, Westrock Capital Partners, Little Rock, private investor; Scott McGeorge, Pine Bluff, president, Pine Bluff Sand and Gravel; Theodosia Murphy Nolan, El Dorado, Munoco Co., partner; Candice Nolan, homemaker; Robert C. Nolan, Deltic Timber Co., El Dorado, chairman; Teresa Oelke, Crossland Construction, Rogers, project manager; Gary Sewell, El Dorado Hammond Oil Company, president; Patrick Walker, Nephropathy, physician, Little Rock; Gail Walker, Nephropathy, Little Rock.
Out-of-state contributors of the $2,500 limit are James Brennan, New York City, McKinsey & Co., consultant; Charles J. Cooper, Bonita Springs, Fla., Cooper & Kirk PLLC, attorney; Debbie Cooper, Bonita Springs; Douglas Coutts, CSC, Arlington, Va., consultant; Ingrid C. Coutts, registered nurse with Catholic Charities, Cockeysville, MD; Robert Coutts, retired, Cockeysville, MD; Bennie Crossland, Crosssland Construction president, Joplin, MO; Ivan Crossland, Crossland Construction, management; Robert Crow, student, Dallas; Theodore Cutler, Commonwealth Group vice president and director, Boston; Miguel A. Estrada, Alexandria, Va., Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, attorney; Tracy Fu, New York City, QVT Financial LP, investment manager; Lee Grinberg, Elliott Associates, financier, New York City; David Grossman, Chicago, Citadel Investment Group, investor; David Humphreys, Joplin, Mo., Tamko Building Products, executive; William J. Kilberg, McLean Va., Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, attorney; Susan Kristol, homemaker, McLean, Va.; Mark Lavine, London, England, Elliott Advisors, investment manager; Bonnie J. Loeb, Elliott Management Group, executive assistant, New York City; Joyce A. Mahoney, Wichita, Kansas, Catholic Charities, coordinator, domestic violence center; Catherine A. McNish, Bethesda, MD; Robert S. McNish, McKinsey & Company, consultant; Joshua Nabell, Elliott Management Group, CFO, Short Hills, NJ; Jay Newman, New York City, Elliott Management, money manager; Sean Noble, Phoenix, AZ, Noble Associates, consultant; Matthew Parsons, McKinsey & Company, consultant, Lancaster, Pa.; John Pike, Elliott Management, senior portfolio manager, New York City; Jonathan D. Pollock, Elliott Management, fund manager, New York City; Tea Pollock, New York City, homemaker; Justin Porter, Devon Energy Corp., attorney, Oklahoma City; Peter Rizzi, Monroe Township, NJ, Elliott Management, trader; Robert Ryan, New York City, Elliott Management, portfolio manager; Dan Senor, New York City, Senor Strategies LLC, investment professional; Paul Singer, Elliott Management, CEO, New York City; Steven J. Snider, Newton, MA, Pyramis Global Advisors, investment manager; Jeff Starzec, Houston, attorney, Cobalt Oil and Gas Co.; David Thompson, Cooper & Kirk PLLC, McLean, VA, attorney; Amy Thompson, homemaker, McLean, VA; Lucas Tomlinson, Department of Defense, human terrain research manager; Andrew Tulumello, Alexandria, VA, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP , attorney.
Cotton has spent money mostly for airline tickets; with Fundly, Inc., a fund-raising organization based in Massachusetts; and with political consultant companies.