Mark Pryor Raises More Than $1.2M During Quarter

by Andrew DeMillo, The Associated Press  on Monday, Jul. 15, 2013 10:39 am  

U.S. Sens. John Boozman, left, and Mark Pryor, speaking at an event for Dassault Falcon Jet in Little Rock on May 29. (Photo by Mauren Kennedy)

LITTLE ROCK - U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor's campaign on Monday said it's raised more than $1.2 million over the past three months, as the Democratic lawmaker prepares for an expensive and heated fight to keep his seat next year.

Jeff Weaver, Pryor's campaign manager, said the two-term lawmaker has nearly $4 million in the bank for his re-election bid.

"We met all of our fundraising goals despite all of the state of state money coming into the state," Weaver said.

Pryor doesn't have an announced opponent yet, but is widely viewed by Republicans as the most vulnerable incumbent in the Senate next year. Conservative groups such as the Club for Growth have already launched television ads criticizing Pryor and trying to paint the lawmaker as too closely allied with President Barack Obama, who remains deeply unpopular in the state.

Pryor has also been targeted by the left, with a gun control group co-founded by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg running ads criticizing him for his vote against expanded background checks for gun purchases. Pryor used his first campaign television ad in May to defend his vote against the measure.

Bloomberg has also written letters to donors urging them to not give money to Pryor or other Democratic senators who voted against the background checks measure. Weaver said Pryor's fundraising was not hurt by Bloomberg's letter.

Monday was the deadline for federal candidates to file their fundraising reports for the quarter, which ended June 30.

A fundraising report had not been filed by late Monday morning for U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, whom Republicans have urged to run against Pryor next year. Cotton, a freshman who represents the 4th Congressional District in south and west Arkansas, has indicated he'll make a decision about his political future later this year.

No Democrats have announced a bid against Cotton or the state's other three Republican House members.

U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, who represents the 2nd Congressional District in central Arkansas, reported raising more than $275,000 during the quarter. Griffin's campaign said he has $447,334 in the bank.

U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, who represents the 3rd Congressional District in northwest Arkansas, raised $123,426 during the quarter and had $578,970 in the bank. U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, who represents the 1st Congressional District in east Arkansas, raised $99,185 and has $168,932 in the bank.

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