Gavel Grab

Costly Arkansas Supreme Court Election Concludes Today

stock-footage-arkansas-flag-loopVoters were to go to the polls on Tuesday in the most costly Arkansas Supreme Court election in history, for TV ad spending.

Justice Courtney Goodson is facing Circuit Judge Dan Kemp in a race for Chief Justice, and attorney Clark Mason and Circuit Judge Shawn Womack are competing for an open seat.

An Associated Press article noted that significant outside spending has poured into the election. The Judicial Crisis Network paid more than $600,000 for TV advertising critical of Goodson, and her own ad blasted the spending as “dark money” from a “shady interest group.” The Republican State Leadership Committee spent $250,000 for TV advertising critical of Mason, and he branded the advertising “despicable attacks.”

Last week, Justice at Stake and the Brennan Center for Justice reported (see Gavel Grab) that candidates and outside groups had poured $1,290,380 into television ads in the lead-up to the election. The previous annual total for TV spending in an Arkansas Supreme Court election was $450,320 (also for two seats), which was set in 2010.

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