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POLITICS: Campaigns

Former Rep. Asa Hutchinson raises $445K for governor bid

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Associated Press,Arkansas,2014 Elections,Campaigns

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Former U.S. Rep. Asa Hutchinson raised more than $445,000 in the final three months of 2013 in his bid for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, his campaign announced Friday.

Hutchinson's campaign said it ended the final quarter of the year with more than $1.3 million in the bank. Wednesday is the deadline for candidates to file their fundraising reports for the quarter that ended Dec. 31.

"We are so pleased to announce the results of our best fundraising quarter ever," Hutchinson said in a statement released by his campaign. "It shows we are gaining momentum and that Arkansans are excited about our vision for Arkansas's future; a future of job creation, lower taxes and great educational opportunities."

Hutchinson won the GOP nomination in 2006 but lost the general election to Democrat Mike Beebe, who is serving his final term. Beebe is barred by term limits from seeking re-election next year.

Hutchinson is running against Little Rock businessman Curtis Coleman and state Rep. Debra Hobbs for the party's nomination. Former U.S. Rep. Mike Ross is the only Democrat running for the state's top office.

Republicans believe they are poised to win the state's top office after recent GOP gains in the state. The party won control of the state Legislature for the first time since Reconstruction in the 2012 election.

Ross, however, has outpaced Hutchinson in fundraising and reported having $2.4 million in the bank in October. Coleman, Ross and Hobbs haven't yet announced their fourth-quarter fundraising figures.

Ross this month began airing his first television ad, a 30-second that touts Beebe's support for Ross.

Hutchinson reported spending about $150,000 during the quarter.

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