WASHINGTON – Congressional hopefuls announce they've gained substantial support for their campaigns.

WASHINGTON – Congressional hopefuls announce they’ve gained substantial support for their campaigns.

Beth Anne Rankin, a Republican from Magnolia announced Wednesday that she has the backing of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in her Fourth District Congressional race.

Rankin is one of several announced candidates seeking to replace U.S. Rep. Mike Ross (D-Prescott) who announced last year he wouldn’t seek re-election.

Rankin served in the governor’s office for seven years at a variety of tasks including as Huckabee’s liaison to Congress. Huckabee will host a fundraising event for Rankin next month at the Hot Springs Country Club.

Tom Cotton, a Republican running for Fourth District congressman, issued a statement that his campaign has raised more than $540,000 in 2011. His campaign, however, has yet to file its year-end report with the FEC. The campaign had already raised nearly $343,000 through the end of September 2011, according to his third quarter filing.

Rankin has not filed her year-end financial report and her campaign spokesman said they do not have an estimate yet on how much they raised in the fourth quarter of 2011. The campaign reported raising $174,910 during the third quarter.

Marcus Richmond, a Republican from Harvey who is also running for Fourth District representative, has filed his year-end report – raising $21,239 in 2011. He closed the year with $100,915 cash on hand. Richmond, owner of America’s Pet Registry, loaned his campaign $130,160 and also contributed $8,701.

State Sen. Gene Jeffress, Democrat of Louann, announced recently that he would seek election as Fourth District representative. Jeffress filed a “statement of organization” with the FEC on Oct. 31, stating he intended to run but he has not filed financial reports since then.

Meanwhile, Arkansas state Rep. Clark Hall is drawing significant financial support from moderate Democrats in Congress as he challenges U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro, for the First Congressional District.

Hall, D-Marvell, received $19,000 from sources connected with the 25-member House Blue Dog Caucus, according to a review of a recently filed campaign financial report. Ross is a leader of the moderate Democrats.

The Blue Dog PAC contributed $10,000 to Hall’s campaign. Hall also received $5,000 from Ross’ Advance Arkansas PAC, $2,000 from Ross’ campaign committee, and $2,000 from Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., who is a member of the Blue Dog Caucus.

Hall raised just over $125,000 in contributions last year and ended 2011 with $107,045 cash on hand, according to the year-end report filed Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission. FEC year-end reports are due at the end of January.

The Blue Dog Caucus saw its membership cut in half as a result of the 2010 mid-term elections. Several of the survivors including Ross and Rep. Dan Boren of Muskogee, Okla., have announced that they will not seek re-election this year.

Hall has also drawn support from House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., who contributed $5,000 through his Fund for a Greater America and $2,000 from his campaign committee.

Among his top Arkansas contributors are Michael and Beth Coulson, who each contributed $2,500 toward his primary campaign. Michael Coulson owns Coulson Oil of North Little Rock and has been an active member of the Arkansas Oil Marketers Association.

Hall faces Gary Latanich, a professor of economics at Arkansas State University, in a Democratic primary. Latanich, who announced his candidacy in November, has not filed a financial report with the FEC. Crawford does not have a primary challenger.