Associate Justice Courtney Goodson’s losing campaign for chief justice cost her $660,770, which enabled to outspend her winning opponent, John Dan Kemp. The bigger spend won the other race for Supreme Court.

That was the amount of personal loans outstanding in the campaign contribution report filed at the May 2 deadline to close out judicial campaigns where no runoff is scheduled in the fall. She made an additional $19,700 in loans to the campaign the last month of the race, for the total.

Goodson raised an additional $16,200 in contributions the final month, including $1,000 from a PAC for Bruce Hawkins’ DBH Management, and $4,900 from Stephen and Rebecca Engstrom. Engstrom is a lawyer who’s associated with Goodson’s husband, John, in a class action lawsuit in which federal Judge P.K. Holmes has criticized the lawyers for forum shopping by removing a lawsuit against an insurance company from his court to state court. He has a hearing scheduled on what, if any, action he’ll take against the lawyers.

Counting her loans, Goodson raised $1,028,304. She  spent it all, leaving no campaign balance.

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Goodson’s winning opponent, Circuit Judge John Dan Kemp, reported raising $384,734 (against Goodson’s $367,604 exclusive of contributions) and spending $391,579, but he finished with a cash balance of $13,154 because he loaned $20,000 to the campaign.

Kemp, who benefited from a major TV ad expenditure by a dark money group opposing Goodson, picked up $42,000 in additional contributions  in the last month of the campaign. Maximum contributions of $2,700 came from Bill Dillard of Little Rock and William and Caroline Rockefeller of Little Rock. Nursing home owner Jim Cooper of Melbourne gave $1,500.


Former Republican Sen. Shawn Womack, who won an open Supreme Court seat, reported raising $136,550 and spending $148,177, but finishing with a zero account balance. He made  $14,488 in loans to his campaign, but reports they were repaid.

He, too, benefited from a dark money campaign from anonymous sources against his opponent, Clark Mason. Womack raised about $21,000, mostly from lawyers, in the last month of his campaign.


Mason reported raising $107,811 and spending $154,586. His campaign finished in the hole $67,626, the amount Mason loaned to his campaign. Lawyers powered the roughly $12,000 he raised in the last month of the campaign.

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