House campaigns report 1st-quarter fundraising


WASHINGTON – With a May primary ahead, Little Rock banker French Hill ended March with a sizeable campaign bankroll as he seeks to be the Republican candidate for Arkansas’s 2nd Congressional District.

Hill’s campaign raised $300,133 during the first three months of the year and ended March with $714,434 cash on hand, according to 1st quarter report filed Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission.

Two other Republicans have also filed as candidates for the seat now held by Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Little Rock.

Retired Army Col. Conrad Reynolds of Conway raised $26,376 during the first three months of the year. He has also loaned his campaign $65,000. The campaign closed March with $66,123 cash on hand, according to his FEC filing.

State Rep. Ann Clemmer, a Republican from Benton, had not filed a first-quarter report as this article was written. Her campaign had $100,134 cash on hand at the start of the year.

Former North Little Rock Mayor Patrick Hays, a Democrat, is not facing a primary challenger. His campaign ended March with $470,607 cash on hand. Hays’ campaign raised $353,887 during the first three months of the year.

Griffin, who is running for lieutenant governor, filed a quarterly report with the FEC showing his congressional campaign working to close up shop. It reported refunding $133,000 in contributions raised before he announced his decision not to seek a third term in Congress. Griffin’s campaign closed March with $9,117 cash remaining.

Candidates running for the House of Representatives who raise more than $5,000 in total are required to file quarterly financial reports electronically with the FEC. The first quarter reporters were due Tuesday.

A review of Arkansas reports filed with the FEC found:

• Rep. Steve Womack, R-Rogers, closed March with $694,907 cash on hand. His campaign raised just $52,650 during the first three months of the year. No Democrat is challenging his re-election this fall in the 3rd District.

• Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro, ended March with $360,524 cash on hand. His campaign raised $97,455 during the first three months of the year. Heber Springs Mayor Jackie McPherson is challenging Crawford in the 1st District. The Democrat launched her campaign in late February.

• James Lee Witt, former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, closed March with $316,022 cash on hand. The Democrat’s campaign raised $262,370 during the first three months of the year in his bid for the 4th District seat now held by Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Dardanelle. Cotton is running for Senate.

• Tommy Moll, a Republican from Hot Springs, issued a press release claiming that his campaign ended March with $392,000 cash on hand after raising more than $115,000 during the first three months of the year. FEC did not have his first-quarter report as of 6 p.m.

• Former Arkansas House Majority Leader Bruce Westerman, R-Hot Springs, closed March with $136,207 cash on hand. His campaign raised $65,125 during the first three months of the year.