Associated Press Writer
LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas’ Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe kept up his staggering fundraising lead over Republican challenger Jim Keet, with the incumbent Democratic governor having more than $2.7 million in the bank compared to Keet’s $59,000, campaign finance reports showed Thursday.
Beebe, who has enjoyed high popularity since taking office in 2007, raised $527,174 in June. He spent $135,257 during the month.
Keet, a Little Rock restaurant owner and former state legislator, raised $116,580 and spent $70,092. He has $59,084 in the bank.
Beebe is running for a second term with an approval rating measured at 70 percent a few months ago. Keet has been trying to tie Beebe to President Barack Obama, who lost Arkansas in the 2008 election and remains deeply unpopular in the state.
Thursday was the deadline for state candidates to file fundraising reports with the secretary of state.
In the lieutenant governor’s race, Democratic state Sen. Shane Broadway raised $170,417 and spent $20,565. Broadway has $157,598 in the bank for his bid. His Republican rival, Mark Darr, raised $15,644 and spent $18,656. Darr, a restaurant owner from Rogers, has $62,681 on hand for the race.
In the secretary of state’s race, Democratic nominee Pat O’Brien raised $4,565 and spent $4,515. O’Brien, the Pulaski County clerk, has $2,059 in the bank. Republican nominee Mark Martin raised $3,950 and spent $55. Martin, a state representative from Prairie Grove, has $18,660 in the bank.
In the race for state land commissioner, Democratic nominee L.J. Bryant raised $7,600 and spent $6,590. Bryant has $1,010 in the bank for the race. Republican nominee John Thurston raised $2,425 and spent $49. Thurston has $5,240 in the bank.