by Max Brantley
But Cotton also has a significant pile of cash from the Arkansas oligarchy — the Stephens, Murphy, Deltic, Alltel and McGeorge financial empires are well represented. Also a Democrat from Yell County name of James Lee Witt, who kicked in $1,000. Witt must keep his options open as a bigtime Washington consultant himself now. And there was a contribution of $1,000 from interim Arkansas Lottery director Julie Baldridge, more generally associated with Democrats over the years.
And what of Beth Anne Rankin of Magnolia, who made an unsuccessful race two years ago and is trying again this year? Her report isn't posted yet. I'll take a look when it is. She has already said she'll report about $170,000, but with nearly all the money from Arkansas.
Cotton is being strongly touted in national Republican circles. Does that and his Harvard and corporate-world resume translate to grassroots appeal in a 33-county district with Tea Party tendencies against a former Miss Arkansas who's stayed planted here? Money talks, but media in this sprawling district will be a puzzle. Personal connections might mean a lot.