Outside groups spent millions on ads in Tuesday’s primary elections in the South.
In the Arkansas Senate race, three groups have spent nearly $4.5 million on ads in a race that pits incumbent Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., against veteran and former football player Razorback of the Arkansas. ‘Arkansas, Jake Bequette.
Two of the groups — Heartland Resurgence and American Dream Federal Action — support Boozman’s re-election bid. Heartland Resurgence spent $1.5 million on ads supporting Boozman, according to AdImpact and an ad tracking company. 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 to support Boozman in Arkansas, but the group’s spending in the South and Midwest totals $3.9 million so far. This group is primarily funded by Ryan Salame, the co-CEO of FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange.
Arkansas Patriots Fund, a pro-Bequette group, spent the most of any outside group in Arkansas — $2.1 million. This group is funded primarily by Richard Uihlein, the founder of Uline, a marine supply company. He is a right-wing mega-donor who has spent millions on conservative groups and candidates.
In the Alabama Senate race, three groups were the biggest spenders on the airwaves, spending a combined $11.9 million on ads. Club for Growth Action, a national conservative group with a broad donor base, spent $4.5 million on Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., running for the Senate.
Alabama Patriots PAC (not affiliated with the Arkansas Patriots Fund), a group supporting veteran Mike Durant’s campaign, spent $3.8 million on advertisements for him. And, Alabama’s Future PAC spent $3.6 million on ads disparaging Brooks and supporting former Senate aide Katie Britt. Alabama’s Future is partially funded by the Senate Leadership Fund.
The expenses of these groups far exceed the expenses of the candidates themselves. Britt, Brooks and Durant spent $7.7 million on ads to boost themselves.