LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Sen. Blanche Lincoln spent nearly $1.5 million in April as she fought to hold on to her Arkansas Senate seat, five times the amount of money she raised, her campaign reported Thursday.
Lincoln is fending off a challenge on the Democratic side from Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, while eight Republicans are seeking the GOP nomination for her seat.
Her campaign reported that she raised $300,933 between April 1 and April 28, the last reporting period before the May 18 primary. Her campaign said she has more than $3.1 million in the bank.
Both Lincoln and Halter's campaigns have been blanketing the state's airwaves with advertisements.
Several outside groups have also been airing ads around the state, including a Virginia-based organization that has bought more than $900,000 worth of airtime to run spots criticizing Halter. Both Halter and Lincoln have criticized the ad, which uses Indian-American actors to raise claims that Halter outsourced jobs to India, as offensive.
Thursday is the deadline for federal candidates to file their pre-primary fundraising reports.
Halter's campaign had not released its fundraising numbers by midday Thursday, but he had reported raising nearly $2 million in March. Halter launched his Senate bid March 1.
Also seeking the Democratic Senate nomination is D.C. Morrison, a Little Rock businessman who threatens to siphon enough votes to force a June 8 runoff between Lincoln and Halter.
The Democrats' fundraising far outpaced the Republicans seeking Lincoln's seat. Gilbert Baker, a Republican Senate hopeful, announced Wednesday that he had raised $41,272 in April and had $320,891 in the bank for his bid.
Numbers were not yet available Thursday for Republican Congressman John Boozman, who is considered a front-runner for the GOP Senate nomination. In his last report, Boozman said he had $563,000 in the bank for the Senate bid.