Bill Clinton is making an early campaign appearance for Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., one of the most vulnerable Democrats up for re-election in 2014. He will be attending a March 16 fundraiser, which will double as a campaign kickoff event, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports.
The early start underscores how important it will be for Pryor to raise money and prepare before his GOP opposition organizes. Hotline reported last week that lieutenant governor Mark Darr is preparing to run once the state's legislative session ends in April. And just-elected GOP Rep. Tom Cotton, an Iraq war veteran, is also eyeing the contest.
Pryor ended last September with $1.79 million cash-on-hand, giving him a significant financial head start over his opposition. He won re-election in 2008 without any Republican opposition at all.
The paper reported that Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe and Pryor's father, former Sen. David Pryor, also will be attending the fundraiser. David Pryor, a former Arkansas governor and senator, is expected to be a regular presence on the campaign trail on behalf of his son. Beebe, who holds high job approval ratings in a conservative state, won re-election in 2010 with 65 percent of the vote.