In the race for critical campaign cash, the latest finance reports show that Arkansas Democratic Senate candidates and the Democratic Party of Arkansas have a significant edge when it comes to fundraising.

I examined seven reports of potentially competitive Senate races, along with the reports of the Democratic Party of Arkansas and the Republican Party of Arkansas. The reports were due at the Secretary of State’s office on Monday and cover the period of July 1, 2011 through September 30, 2011.   There will likely be more competitive races next year, but as of yet candidates have not filed reports or have filed “carryover reports” which means they didn’t raise any money last quarter.

All total, the Democrats in these seven Senate races raised $133,073 and the Republican candidates raised a total of $69,734. That dramatic difference in fundraising has serious implications in the fight for control of the State Senate.

Currently, there are three races where a Republican Senator faces a Democratic challenger and in each race the Democratic challenger raised more than the incumbent last quarter.

The most significant disparity was in Senate District 28 where Democratic State Representative Tiffany Rogers raised $21,855 to Republican Senator Jonathan Dismang’s $12,950. Currently, Rogers has almost $17,000 more in the bank than Dismang.

The largest loan to a campaign was from Senate candidate Mike Akin (R-Monticello), who gave his campaign $25,000.

Examining the reports for Arkansas’ two main political parties is also illuminating. This year, for the third quarter in a row the Republican Party of Arkansas spent more than it raised and was once again out-raised by the Democratic Party of Arkansas.

Last quarter the RPA raised $143,061 and spent $167,120 and the DPA raised $200,455 and spent $105,823.

It’s still a very long time until November of 2012, but so far it seems that Democrats seem to be outworking the Republicans when it comes to raising money.

State Senate fundraising: 7/1/11 – 9/30/11

District 6
John Paul Wells (D) – Raised: $11,779;  COH: $9,949
Gary Stubblefield (R) – Raised: $500;  COH: ($6,776)*
[* This represents announced candidate's House carryover report. He has not filed a report for a Senate campaign.]

District 9
Bruce Holland (R) – Raised: $6,000;  COH: $9,646
Tracy Pennartz (D) – Raised: $9,469;  COH: $9,155
Rick Green (R) – Not on file

District 15
Johnny Hoyt (D) – Raised: $22,275;  COH: $16,372
[Reps. Ed Garner (R) and David Sanders (R) are expected to run for this Senate seat, but have not officially announced. Neither has filed a report for a Senate campaign.]

District 26
Gregg Reep (D) – Raised: $7,744;  COH: $5,274
Eddie Cheatham (D) – Raised:  $625;  COH: $4,622
Mike Akin (R) – Raised: $26,000; COH: $25,969
[Johnnie Bolin (D) is expected to run for this Senate seat, but has not officially announced.  He has not filed a report for a Senate campaign.]

District 28
Tiffany Rogers (D) – Raised: $21,855;  COH: $32,034
Jonathan Dismang (R) – Raised: $12,950;  COH: $15,989

District 34
Barry Hyde (D) – Raised: $39,776;  COH: $40,676
Jane English (R) – Raised: $4,734;  COH: $13,244

District 35
Jason Rapert (R) – Raised: $16,720;  COH: $17,808
Linda Tyler (D) – Raised: $19,550;  COH: $13,702
 


Editor’s note: Michael Cook is an opinion blogger for Talk Business and is a paid political strategist. The Hoyt for Senate campaign is one of his clients.

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