Republican House candidates in Northwest Arkansas raise more campaign cash than Democrats with four exceptions
Four Northwest Arkansas Democratic candidates raised more money for their state House races than their Republican opponents, state campaign finance records show. Those four campaigns ran counter to Republicans’ overall advantage in fundraising, records show.
Republicans with Democratic opposition raised $1.46 for every dollar their Democratic opponents raised in legislative races in Benton and Washington counties, records show. The four House races where Democrats bucked the fundraising trend by raising more are: District 9 in eastern Springdale; District 10 in Bentonville; District 13 in Bentonville and Centerton and District 19 in Springdale.
Campaign figures also show the Democrats spending more of what they received. Overall spending by Republicans in those Benton and Washington county contested races amounts to $1.06 for every Democratic dollar.
How much difference money makes remains to be seen. Eighteen current House or Senate members live in Benton or Washington counties. Of those, five are Democrats and only one of those Democrats lives outside of Fayetteville. The one outside Fayetteville is not running for reelection. Three of the four who live in Fayetteville have no opposition.
All financial figures given below draw from the candidates’ latest campaign finance reports as listed on the Secretary of State’s website. The latest of those reports were due Tuesday, covering finances up to Oct. 29. The races below are listed in order of the amount of contributions taken in by the top fundraising candidate in each contest. Candidates’ complete campaign figures are due after Tuesday’s election. These figures do not include any spending for or against a candidate by independent groups.
State Senate candidate Rep. Jim Dotson, R-Bentonville, raised more money than any other legislative candidate in a district wholly within Benton or Washington County — but has no Democratic opponent. Dotson won a Republican primary in May against Bella Vista Mayor Peter Christie. His campaign raised $118,270 and shows a balance remaining of $29,911. He faces Jean Pierre DeVilliers of Bentonville, the Libertarian nominee, in Tuesday’s general election, who reported contributions of $925.
Rep. Josh Bryant, R-Rogers, raised $86,018 for his race in Senate District 32. He won the May primary and faces no opponent on Tuesday.
House District 18: Jones vs. Lundstrum
The top fundraiser in any Northwest Arkansas House race is Rep. Robin Lundstrum, R-Elm Springs. Lundstrum raised $96,402 in her bid for a fifth term. Her opponent, Democratic nominee Monique Jones of Fayetteville, raised $23,539. Jones spent a larger portion by percentage of her available money than Lundstrum. Lundstrum spent $25,692 to Jones’ $16,709.
House District 10: McAlindon vs. Schaffer
The runner-up to Lundstrum for fundraising among House candidates in the region is Kate Schaffer of Bentonville, the Democratic nominee for District 10. Schaffer raised $87,813, finance records show. Republican opponent Mindy McAlindon raised $52,745.
Schaffer’s campaign spent $71,917 by Tuesday — more than twice as much as McAlindon’s $32,472. Figures show Schaffer raised $1.66 for every dollar raised by McAlindon. Schaffer’s campaign spent $2.21 for every dollar spent by McAlindon’s.
House District 22: Hester vs. Whitaker
Republican House District 22 candidate Brian Hester of Fayetteville raised $80,524. Hester seeks to unseat Rep. David Whitaker, D-Fayetteville, who is running for a sixth term in the House. Whitaker reported raising $44,871. Hester spent $60,473 to Whitaker’s $38,216.
Senate District 31: Parks vs. Penzo
In a state Senate race, Rep. Clint Penzo, R-Springdale, raised $69,066, but Democratic opponent Lisa Parks outspent him. Parks raised $50,012, or about 72 cents for every dollar Penzo raised, but Parks spent $46,709 to Penzo’s $27,312. Parks’ campaign spent $1.71 for every dollar Penzo’s campaign did.
House District 19: Irwin vs. Unger
Democratic candidate Paula Irwin of Springdale raised $67,475 to Republican opponent Steve Unger’s $45,855. Irwin also spent a larger portion of her contributions. Irwin spent $61,447 to Unger’s $22,280. By those figures, Irwin’s raised $1.47 for every dollar of Unger’s and spent $2.76 per Unger’s dollar.
House District 9: DeAnna Hodges vs. Stillings vs. Worthen
Democratic candidate Diana Gonzales Worthen out-raised and outspent Republican opponent DeAnna Hodges by three to one, campaign records show. Worthen reported $56,611 in contributions and $21,598 in expenditures. Hodges reported $18,564 in contributions and $7,118 in expenditures. Libertarian candidate Steven Stilling had no campaign finance report listed by the secretary of state. Not all candidates are required to report, depending on how much they raise.
House District 14: Eaton vs. Grant Hodges
Former state House member Grant Hodges of Centerton leads in fundraising in his comeback bid in House District 14. Hodges served three terms in the House before sitting out the 2020 election. Hodges out-raised first-time candidate and Democratic opponent Brian Eaton $52,384 to $7,229. The margin on spending is closer. Eaton spent $6,685 to Hodges’ $20,509.
House District 13: Richardson vs. Standerfer
Democrat Jen Standerfer leads Republican Scott Richardson in funds raised, but the margin is close. Standerfer’s campaign raised $51,186 to Richardson’s $47,571. The gap in spending is wider. Standerfer spent $47,417 to Richardson’s $30,854.
House District 15: Carr vs. Cox
The reelection bid of first-term Rep. John Carr of Rogers raised $46,535 and spent $34,265. Democratic challenger Rachel Cox raised $7,175 and spent $5,170.
House District 25: Oxford vs. Puryear
House District 25 consists of eastern Washington and Crawford counties, plus a corner of Franklin County. Republican nominee Chad Puryear of near Hindsville raised $46,750 and spent $35,181. Democratic opponent Caitlin Oxford of Fayetteville raised $5,860 and spent $5,889.
House District 11: Burkes vs. Hernandez
Republican candidate Rebecca Burkes’ campaign spent more than it has taken in contributions, but loans from the candidate herself more than make up the difference. Burkes, of Springdale, started her run with a total of $11,000 in loans to her campaign in November and December of last year. The campaign since took in $39,675 in contributions. Burkes’ campaign spent $47,707. Burkes’ Democratic opponent, Ray Hernandez of near Rogers, reported $7,026 in contributions and spent $1,603.
Two state Senate races and two House races in Benton or Washington county have Libertarian candidates running against the Republican nominee with no Democrat in the race. Republicans lead in fundraising in all four contests. The races are: Senate District 34 between Rep. Jim Dotson, R-Bentonville, and J.P. DeVilliers of Bentonville; Senate District 35 between Republican Tyler Dees of Siloam Springs and Doug Peterson of near Prairie Grove; House District 12 between Republican Hope Duke of Gravette and Michael Gill of Bella Vista; House District 23 between Republican Kendra Moore and Ryan Hanson, both of Lincoln.