Outside conservative groups overwhelm Arkansas judge races

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — With days to go until the state’s primary election, Arkansas’ airwaves are dominated by political vitriol and mailboxes are filling with campaign flyers, but most of it has nothing to do with Donald Trump, Ted Cruz or the other presidential hopefuls vying for Republican delegates.

Instead, the barrage is focused on two state Supreme Court races that have become Arkansas’ most fiercely fought contests, thanks to the ramped up efforts of outside conservative groups to reshape the nation’s state courts by shattering spending records.

The more than $1 million spent on TV airtime alone more than doubles the previous Arkansas record for such spending in a judicial election, according to campaign finance groups. Watchdog groups call the outside spending the new norm in judicial elections nationwide.