Cash for Unopposed House Seats Exceeds $300,000

JANUARY 8, 2007 - Posted at 7:54 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Some people will put their money down on a political candidate even when there is no race. Although they had no opponents in last year's election, candidates for uncontested seats in the Arkansas House of Representatives raised more than $300,000 in the months after the May primary.

Now that the elections are over, the House candidates can hold on to as much as $14,765- in campaign contributions -- using the money for expenses associated with the office or saving the funds for the next race.

Unopposed Representative Benny Petrus of Stuttgart, who takes over today as the new House speaker, took in nearly $145,000. He returned contributions from individuals, but not from corporations or special interests political-action committees. He donated what was left of that to charity.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)