Likely Incoming Republican Freshmen Help Vulnerable Members

Photograph by Danny Johnston/AP Photo

Republican Tom Cotton, left, participates in a debate at Arkansas Educational Television Network studios in Conway, Ark., on Oct. 25, 2012.

Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican lawyer strongly favored to win a House seat next week, is donating unneeded campaign funds to Republican candidates in tougher races.

Cotton has sent $137,000 in campaign funds to the National Republican Congressional Committee and 43 Republican candidates, according to a list his campaign provided to Political Capital.

Cotton said he wanted to “lead by example” and do his part to “help elect a conservative majority” on Nov. 6, when Republicans are favored to keep their House majority.

“I learned in the Army that you can’t accomplish any mission without being part of a team,” Cotton, a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, said in a telephone interview.

Cotton said he learned about Republican candidates in competitive races after talking with National Republican Congressional Committee staff and House members including Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California. Cotton also said he’s been keeping track of the House elections and has an affinity for fellow military veterans seeking office, including Jonathan Paton, a former Arizona state senator in a close race.

Cotton had $399,000 left in his campaign account on Oct. 17, according to a Federal Election Commission report. He’s a shoo-in to win Arkansas’ 4th District, which takes in most of southern and western Arkansas, including Pine Bluff and Hot Springs. Democratic Rep. Mike Ross isn’t seeking re-election.

Other Republicans likely to join Congress next January are sending campaign funds to candidates in need. They include Ann Wagner of Missouri, Matt Salmon of Arizona, Robert Pittenger and Richard Hudson of North Carolina, Luke Messer of Indiana, Doug LaMalfa of California and Tom Rice of South Carolina.

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