Mike Ross Raises $1M During Quarter for Governor's Race

LITTLE ROCK - Former U.S. Rep. Mike Ross raised more than $1 million over the past three months in his bid to become Arkansas governor next year, outraising his three Republican rivals for the state's top office combined, campaign finance reports showed Tuesday.

Ross, the only announced Democratic candidate for governor, raised more than $1.1 million during the quarter that ended Sept. 30 and has nearly $2.4 million in the bank. Ross reported spending $415,502 during the same period.

Ross called the figures a sign of support for his bid.

"Arkansans are tired of the politics that divide us, and they want commonsense, bipartisan leadership," he said in a statement. "As governor, I will unite this state to improve education, create more good-paying jobs and cut taxes for working families - all in a fiscally responsible way that continues to balance the state's budget."

Ross became the only Democrat running for governor when former Lt. Gov. Bill Halter dropped out of the race in July. Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe cannot seek re-election next year due to term limits.

Ross has a large fundraising advantage over Republicans, despite gains by the GOP in the state over the past two elections. Republicans won control of the state Legislature for the first time since Reconstruction in November's election.

Former U.S. Rep. Asa Hutchinson, Little Rock businessman Curtis Coleman and state Rep. Debra Hobbs are seeking the GOP nomination for governor. Hutchinson, who ran unsuccessfully for governor against Beebe in 2006 and has the support of the state's top Republicans, raised more than $393,000 and had more than $1 million in the bank for his bid.

He reported spending more than $100,000 during the quarter. Hutchinson also loaned his campaign $62,000 last month.

"This demonstrates my personal commitment to the campaign but also reflects contributions from people in every corner of Arkansas who want someone who will work to create jobs and who has a record of opposing Obamacare and the individual mandate imposed by the federal government," he said in a statement.

Coleman reported raising $70,657 and ending the quarter with $11,179 in the bank. Coleman loaned his campaign $8,855 and spent $85,079 during the quarter. Hobbs raised $4,705 and has $46,493 in the bank. She spent $15,259 during the quarter.

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