Fundraising reports for March show former U.S. Rep. Mike Ross out-raised his Republican challengers running for the governor's mansion. In a report filed with the Arkansas Secretary of State's office, Ross reported more than $222,000 raised during March.
During the same period, former U.S. Rep. Asa Hutchinson raised more than $200,000. His Republican rival in the May 20 gubernatorial primary is North Little Rock businessman Curtis Coleman, who raised more than $38,000 in March.
Of the money both men spent during March, Hutchinson far out-spent his Democratic rival, with more than $280,000 spent and only $1.2 million cash on hand at the end of the reporting period. Coleman spent $25,892 during the month of March and has $16,446 cash on hand.
Meanwhile, Ross reported only spending $138,000 during the month and still has a bank account valued at $2 million for his campaign.
A search on the Arkansas Secretary of State's website for campaign finance reports for Dr. Lynette Bryant, who is challenging Ross for the Democratic nomination, returned no results.
In the race for lieutenant governor, U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Little Rock, reported a strong month, raising more than $105,000 and ending the month with nearly $266,000 cash on hand.
Things were more grim for one of Griffin's Republican opponents, Rep. Andy Mayberry, R-Woodson, who reported only raising $320 in March, spending more than $30 during the month and having a balance of campaign funds of only $439.53. All told, Mayberry has raised more than $15,000 for his race to be lieutenant governor, a position he said is a waste of taxpayer dollars and should be eliminated, placing the Secretary of State's office first in line to succeed the governor should the occupant of the governor's mansion resign or die in office.
Rep. Debra Hobbs, R-Rogers, reported not raising any money during the month, though she did spend more than $12,000 in her bid to defeat Griffin, the presumptive Republican nominee for lieutenant governor. She still has more than $22,000 cash on hand as the campaign enters its final two months.
In announcing his strong totals, Griffin thanked donors who he said were donating because they believe the state needs "common sense" leadership.
“I am overwhelmed by and grateful for the generosity of Arkansans from all four corners of our state," he said. "They know that the state needs common sense, conservative policies put in place to grow good-paying jobs, help Arkansas compete and make better use of their tax dollars.”
On the Democratic side of the lieutenant governor race, former Highway Commissioner John Burkhalter reported raising more than $25,000 in his first bid for public office, while he spent just more than $26,000 during the month of March. He still has $431,971 cash on hand, which includes loans of $55,000 to his campaign.
In the race for District Senate 9, the money keeps flowing with Rep. Terry Rice, R-Waldron, announcing contributions of $7,075 during the reporting period and spending $6,717.85. He is sitting on a bank account of $21,630.25, while he still has an outstanding loan of $50,000 to his campaign.
Sen. Bruce Holland, R-Greenwood, who is seeking a third term, reported raising $13,050 in March, while he spent $7,560.11. He has $49,000 cash on hand, with an outstanding loan of $10,000 to the campaign.
Both men have spent heavily on billboards, while Holland has spent money on mailers, as well.