Democratic Challenge to Tom Cotton Off to Dismal Start

Fundraising appears to show little enthusiasm for Mahony

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) / Getty Images

The only Democratic challenge announced thus far to Republican senator Tom Cotton's reelection in Arkansas is off to a rocky start, at least where fundraising is concerned.

Josh Mahony's campaign raised a meager $110,000 in the most recent reporting period, and about $25,000 of that came from his own pockets according to campaign finance disclosures.

Senator Cotton, meanwhile, netted just over $1 million for the second quarter.

From a long-term perspective, the numbers look just as daunting for Mahony. Cotton ended the fundraising quarter with almost $3.5 million cash on hand, compared to about $51,000 for Mahony.

The small businessman in Northwest Arkansas ran for Congress in 2018 for the state's 3rd congressional district, but was beaten badly by a 64-32 margin.

Despite that loss, he launched his senate bid with a seeming abundance of confidence in May.

"I'm going to beat Tom Cotton, and I'm going to look out for the people of this state; not sell them out the second I get inside the beltway," he said in a Twitter thread announcing his candidacy.

Democrats were similarly enthused.

"Arkansas's very own Josh Mahony is the first Democrat to throw their hat in the ring in the 2020 race for U.S. Senate," a Democratic website said. "That's good news for Arkansas and bad news for the incumbent Tom Cotton."

The Mahony campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

As the Free Beacon also previously reported, Mahony hired the former treasurer of a PAC run by Michael Avenatti, the lawyer who rocketed to fame by representing adult film star Stormy Daniels in several matters involving President Trump.

Avenatti has since witnessed a remarkable fall from grace, and now finds himself facing dozens of federal charges including wire fraud and bank fraud, among others.