Outside groups have spent millions on ads in Tuesday’s primary elections across the South.
In Arkansas’ Senate race, three groups have spent a combined almost $4.5 million on ads in a race that pits incumbent Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., against veteran and former Arkansas Razorback football player Jake Bequette.
Two of the groups — Heartland Resurgence and American Dream Federal Action — are in favor of Boozman’s reelection bid. Heartland Resurgence has spent $1.5 million on ads supporting Boozman, according to AdImpact, and ad-tracking firm. The group is funded primarily by big agribusiness executives like Ron Cameron, the chairman of Montaire Farms, and John Tyson, the former CEO and current chairman of Tyson Foods.
American Dream Federal Action has spent $877,000 supporting Boozman in Arkansas, but the group’s spending across the South and the Midwest totals $3.9 million so far. That group is primarily funded by Ryan Salame, the co-CEO of FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange.
Arkansas Patriots Fund, a pro-Bequette group, have spent the most of any outside group in Arkansas — $2.1 million. That group is funded primarily by Richard Uihlein, the founder of Uline, a shipping supply company. He is a right-wing mega donor who has spent millions in favor of conservative groups and candidates.
In Alabama’s Senate race, three groups were the top spenders on the airwaves, spending a combined $11.9 million on ads. Club for Growth Action, a national conservative group with a large base of donors, spent $4.5 million in favor of Rep. Mo Brooks’, R-Ala., bid for Senate.
Alabama Patriots PAC (not affiliated with the Arkansas Patriots Fund), a group in favor of veteran Mike Durant’s campaign, has spent $3.8 million on ads in his favor. And, Alabama’s Future PAC has spent $3.6 million on ads bashing Brooks and supporting former Senate aide Katie Britt. Alabama's Future is partially funded by the Senate Leadership Fund.
Spending by these groups far outweighs the spending of the candidates themselves. Britt, Brooks and Durant have spent a combined $7.7 million on ads boosting themselves.