Halter outpaces Lincoln in raising runoff funds 

LITTLE ROCK, ARK. - Lt. Gov. Bill Halter raised more money than Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln as he challenges her for the Democratic nomination for her job, according to campaign finance reports.

The two spent nearly $2.5 million combined in what has become a bitter and expensive race. Lincoln and Halter have spent more than $10 million total in the election, while outside groups on both sides have also poured in millions of dollars.

Halter reported $773,589 in contributions between April 29 and May 19, while Lincoln reported raising $552,189 during the same period. The June 8 runoff will decide who faces Republican congressman John Boozman in the fall.

Both Lincoln and Halter spent more than they raised during the period. The senator spent more than $1.6 million, while Halter spent $835,629. Lincoln maintains a larger war chest, though, with more than $2 million in the bank. Halter reported having $494,548 on hand.

Thursday is the deadline for federal candidates in Arkansas' runoff to file their pre-runoff reports
with the Federal Election Commission.

Lincoln has become one of the most vulnerable politicians in Washington, facing anger from both the right and the left. Republicans have condemned her for supporting the health care overhaul, while groups on the left have criticized her for opposing a government-run insurance option.

Unions backing Halter's bid spent more than $5 million in the weeks leading up to the runoff, and labor officials privately say they could be spending a similar amount during the three-week runoff campaign, with the bulk spent on TV ads. That amount is for independent expenditures not coordinated with Halter's Senate campaign.

Lincoln has also enjoyed the help of outside groups, with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce spending $300,000 on ads before the primary.

Boozman won the Republican Senate nomination outright on May 18 after defeating seven rivals in his party's primary. He did not have to file a report Thursday since he is not in the runoff.

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