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Monday, July 15, 2013

Mike Ross reports almost $2 million in gubernatorial campaign report

Posted By on Mon, Jul 15, 2013 at 2:10 PM

HAPPY DAY: Mike Ross claims a fund-raising record.
  • HAPPY DAY: Mike Ross claims a fund-raising record.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Ross reported today that he's already raised almost $2 million for his campaign. He faces both a Democratic primary opponent, Bill Halter, and the winner of a Republican primary that so far has three candidates — Curtis Coleman, Debra Hobbs and Asa Hutchinson.

Halter's report is expected later this afternoon. Others will be filing today, too. Coleman earlier said he'd raised about $100,000 in the quarter, including $25,000 from himself, and had $16,000 on hand.

UPDATE: Halter said late in the afternoon that, though he raised only $92,000 in the quarter and has about $837,000 on hand:

"Bill Halter already has the funds needed to win the Democratic nomination for governor. While we raised less than we had hoped this quarter we still have one million dollars on hand and continue to exceed our grassroots organizing goals. Ultimately this election won’t be won or lost based on who has the most or least money. It will be about who has the best ideas to move Arkansas forward."

Noted: $640,000 of Halter's money is in the form of an earlier personal loan by the candidate. PS — A single $4,000 contribution from a San Francisco contributor would appear to exceed the $2000 limit. A Halter spokesman said he believes that's an entry that should have been listed as contributions from two people, husband and wife, but an error clearly was made and would need to be corrected.

UPDATE II: Asa! is spinning that he met his goal by raising $378,000 in the quarter — a sixth of what Ross raised. He has $649,000 on hand. And a sort of wacky primary in the offing.

Ross almost doubled the $1.05 million Mike Beebe raised in the first quarter of his 2005 campaign, the Ross campaign said. It said this was a record opening quarter for an Arkansas governor's race and represents contributions from 2.400 5,000 people, plus promises of volunteer and other help from more than 2,500 more. About 80 percent of the money came in individual contributions.

Ross' news release:

Mike Ross for Governor has raised nearly $2 million in its first opening quarter, setting a new record in Arkansas political history, and has signed up more than 5,000 supporters from across the state of Arkansas.

The campaign announced on Monday it had raised $1.97 million since it began on April 17th, ending the first quarter on June 30th with $1.70 million cash on hand. The announcement follows news last week that 62 of the 75 county sheriffs across the state of Arkansas endorsed Ross for governor. Ross, a Democrat from Prescott who now resides in Little Rock, is a former small business owner, state senator and U.S. Congressman.

“Our campaign to move Arkansas forward is resonating across the state, and I am so thankful to the thousands of Arkansans who have contributed, volunteered and endorsed our positive vision for Arkansas’s future,” said Ross. “We have a lot of work to do before Election Day, but I think it’s clear we’ve got a strong start and a lot of momentum on our side. I’m running for governor, because I love this state and I want to use my experience of bringing people together to focus on education and job creation. I believe in Arkansas, and I know by working together we can create a brighter future for our children and grandchildren and make this state an even better place to call home.”

The amount sets a new fundraising record in Arkansas political history for an opening quarter of a governor’s race, close to doubling Gov. Mike Beebe’s 2005 opening quarter total of $1.09 million, said Dustin Smith, Ross’s deputy campaign manager for finance. Smith also said more than 90 percent of all contributions came from Arkansans and no loans were made to the campaign.

“Arkansans from every single county in the state have contributed to Mike Ross for Governor, and we have been proud of the contributions, endorsements and volunteers that have poured in from all over Arkansas,” said Smith. “Having signed up more than 5,000 supporters from across the state, the swell of grassroots support we’ve received has given Mike and our campaign a strong start that will carry us through Election Day.”

Smith added that more than 90 percent of all contributions are designated for the primary election and more than 80 percent of all contributors are individuals.

The next quarterly finance report is due on October 15, 2013, for the quarter ending September 30.

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