Cotton, Pryor maintain strong fundraising pace

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor and Rep. Tom Cotton each raised more than $1 million during the first three months of the year in what is anticipated to be among the most hotly contested campaigns for 2014.

Cotton, a Republican from Dardanelle, said he has raised $1.35 million since the start of the year in his effort to unseat the incumbent Democrat. In all, his campaign has raised more than $4.8 million and ended March with more than $2.7 million cash on hand.

Pryor said he raised $1.22 million during the first three months of the year bringing his total for this election cycle to $7.45 million.

Both candidates claim they are hitting their fundraising targets and expect to have the resources necessary to compete in what is shaping up to be a pivotal contest nationally as Republicans look to gain a majority in the U.S. Senate.

“I am incredibly humbled by the outpouring of support from Arkansans from every corner of our state. Last week I announced our campaign’s 75-county grassroots effort, and our fundraising success will only bolster our momentum going forward,” Cotton said in a statement.

Pryor was upbeat about his fundraising efforts as well as the response his campaign is receiving across Arkansas.

“I’m getting very good feedback here in Arkansas, just across the board in all regions of the state. So, I am encouraged. The fundraising numbers are encouraging but there are lots of reasons to be encouraged about my re-election,” Pryor said in a telephone interview.

Senate campaigns are required to file, on paper, finance reports quarterly with the Secretary of the Senate. The first quarter reports are due today. House candidates file reports electronically directly to the Federal Election Commission. Those quarterly reports are also due today.

The two campaigns raised similar totals during the fourth quarter of 2013. Cotton raised $1.24 million and Pryor $1.1 million.

Recent surveys of likely voters show Pryor with a slight edge but that advantage is within the margin of error for the polls.