Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 11, 2016

Finance/Insurance PACs Propel Rep. Tom Cotton’s Senate Run


After freshman Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., was given a seat on the House Financial Service Committee at the beginning of 2013, the PACs in the finance and insurance industry have poured money into his campaign fund. With that kind of support, Cotton has chosen to advance his career with a U.S. Senate race.

Cotton’s new contacts in the financial world and his growing campaign war chest are now the base of his run for the Senate seat now held by Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark. Cotton’s 4th District, in the southern and western part of Arkansas, is the largest in the state but also has the lowest median income in the state. Its major industries are agriculture, timber, livestock and tourism. The area is not known for its financial wealth, although it has the only public diamond mine in the world at Crater of Diamonds State Park.

Cotton is not a wealthy individual and does not appear to have experience with many financial investments. His personal financial disclosure report shows only a Bank of America checking account of $100,001 to $250,000 in value; a $15,001 to $50,000 CD in a Liberty Bank Roth IRA; and a defined-contributions retirement account valued at $50,001 to $100,000.

In his 2011-2012 election, Cotton raised $2.2 million, including $466,743 from PACs and other committees. Over $65,000 of the PAC money came from the leadership PACs of other members of Congress. PACs from the health care industry gave $77,750. Finance and insurance PACs gave only $59,500, and individuals from some Arkansas banks, such as the Bank of the Ozarks, contributed. View his 2011-2012 financial profile.

But support from the finance and insurance industry changed dramatically once Cotton took office and was given a seat on the House Financial Services Committee.

In the first six months of this year, Cotton’s campaign committee has raised $1.1 million, including $380,684 from PACs. Finance and insurance industry company and association PACs have given $108,000, the most of any industries. PAC contributions came from the PACs of the American Bankers Association, Mortgage Bankers Association, Capital One Financial Corp., Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase & Co., UBS Americas Inc., Wells Fargo, among others.

Individual donors have included executives from Barclays Bank (N.Y.), Elliott Management Corp. (N.Y.), Goldman Sachs, Juno Investments (N.Y.), Stephens Inc. (Ark.), among others. After itemized Arkansas donors ($384,617), the second-largest amount from itemized individual donors came from New York ($103,650).

With the finance/insurance industry taking the lead in this year’s fundraising, look for them to continue their efforts. With a chance of Cotton moving to the Senate, most of these PACs and individual donors will want to solidify their investment by giving again, up to the maximum limits, and get their spouses, other executives and PACs in their industry to give as well.

View Cotton’s 2013-2014 financial profile. Cotton had $1,045,372 in cash on hand as of June 30.

To search detailed money-in-politics databases, visit Political MoneyLine.

  • topjob66t

    “Solidifying their investment”. Doesn’t that just ooze with contempt of money in politics. They going to buy themselves a Senator and there is no secret about that.

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