Campaign fund-raising horse races are interesting so far as they go. But money alone doesn’t win races. In legislative races, particularly, name recognition and shoe leather account for a lot.
Still, it’s interesting that Tyler Pearson, the Democratic challenger to incumbent Republican Sen. Jason Rapert, has again reported more campaign contributions for the quarter. Rapert benefits from incumbency and held over money. Plus the corporate PACs send money his way. He finished an uncontested primary with $50,000 to carry over, powered on the last report by more than $12,000 in corporate and PAC money, no individual contributions.
Still. Pearson is making a race against a fire-breathing senator who undoubtedly has a devoted base but who also is an intemperate standard bearer for intolerance.
CONWAY – According to fundraising reports released on July 15, candidate for state senate Joel “Tyler” Pearson outraised incumbent Senator Jason Rapert by more than a 4 to 1 margin between May 21st. Pearson raised $18,247 during that period and Sen. Rapert raised only $4,100. This brings Pearson’s cash-on-hand total to about $50,800 and Sen. Rapert’s to about $55,800.
“I am proud to have the support of over 350 donors from the 35th Pearson said. “It speaks volumes that so many people are giving to my campaign. I keep hearing from folks that Sen. Rapert is an embarrassment to our district and state, and that’s why Republicans, Democrats, and independents are contributing to me.”
“While Sen. Rapert is focusing on his own personal, divisive agenda, I have been meeting with the people of Faulkner and Perry Counties to discuss the issues they care about: raising the minimum wage, bringing good jobs to the Conway area, and creating a pre-K program for our kids,” Pearson said. “These are the issues the voters care about, and they are tired of being ignored by Sen. Rapert as he tries to make headlines instead of representing the constituents of senate district 35.”
This is the third report of the last four in which Pearson has out-raised Sen. Rapert. In March, Pearson raised $23,249 – ten times more than Rapert’s $2,300. In the first twenty days of May, Pearson outraised Rapert $18,935 to $12,500. Furthermore, 25 percent of Sen. Rapert’s money has come from PACs, whereas over 96 percent of Pearson’s contributions are from everyday folks.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Yes, as Rapert notes on Twitter, he’s raised more overall. But as of today, he and Pearson have about the same amount of money. I expect the usual corporate bankrollers will pour money into their tool (Rapert) in days ahead. But I’d like to think there’d be some reluctance in backing someone with such a propensity for demagoguery.