Early voting started today for the June 12 runoffs. On the Congressional level, this means runoffs between prosecutor Scott Ellington and State Rep. Clark Hall in the First and State Sen. Gene Jeffress and Hot Springs attorney Q. Byrum Hurst in the Fourth.
The races have been largely quiet, but some information on the campaigns can be found both in the their pre-runoff reports and their 48-hour contribution reports they are required to file with the FEC.
In the Fourth…
- Since the primary, Hurst has made two loans to his campaign of $30,000 on May 25 and $10,000 on June 4. Although Hurst has apparently not been timid about taking loans in his business dealings, a commitment of personal funds usually means the candidate believes he has a shot. Hurst also had some money trickle in such as around $8,500 from those in the nursing home industry last weekend. Hurst's pre-runoff report showed him with only around $4,400 cash on hand.
- It is hard to tell as much about Jeffress as he has not filed a report since May 2. In fact, the FEC has sent him three “Notices of Failure to File” over the course of his campaign most recently on June 1 for failing to file his pre-runoff report. In spite of this, it still appears Jeffress is a favorite to win the nomination as I explained here, but his dismal fundraising and reporting deficiencies could follow him to November where a well-funded, well-organized Republican Tom Cotton awaits.
In the First…
- There is little good news for the Hall campaign, which finished a disappointing second place and over ten points down in the primary. Hall's pre-runoff report shows he had just under $7,000 of cash, and debts of almost $185,000. His report also shows him spending around $25,000 in “Community Outreach Consulting.” On a completely unrelated note (wink-wink), check out Jay Barth's excellent column where he discusses “walking around money.”
- Ellington still has not shown too many signs of being about to bring in campaign cash. He finished the primary with only $1,700 cash on hand and about $19,000 of debt to LogoWorks for signs. He still has some money trickling in primarily from union groups, such as $5,000 from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Washington D.C. and $1,000 from the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen Arkansas PAC.
The campaigns could see some signs of life as each has a debate scheduled before the June 12 election – Ellington and Hall on Wednesday at noon and Jeffress and Hurst on Monday at noon. Both debates will be hosted and live-streamed by KARK Channel 4 News.