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Financial records show the Arkansas Justice and Public Safety PAC formed in late April, with Soros being its exclusive funder.
Of the $321,000 Soros has given to the organization, more than $106,000 has gone to supporting Alicia Walton, a former public defender running for the vacated position of prosecuting attorney for the Sixth Judicial District. The district covers Perry and Pulaski Counties, which includes the state capital, Little Rock.
FILE: George Soros, billionaire and founder of Soros Fund Management LLC, speaks at an event on day three of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020. (Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
The funding has been a much-needed boost for Alton who has raised less than $20,000. Her competitor, Will Jones, has raised around $144,000.
The money Arkansas Justice and Public Safety PAC has spent so far, has gone to research, polling, and consulting in support of Walton. That included about $40,000 towards airing ads on seven Little Rock stations, the Arkansas Times reported.
Watson, a public defender, told Black Consumer News she would bring her experience in the criminal justice system – both as a prosecutor and a crime victim – to the position she is seeking.
“With that experience in mind, I will work to empower the victims, dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline, provide a pathway for those with mental health and substance abuse challenges. It is time for the criminal justice system to work for all of us,” she said.
According to her website, Walton is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and was “instrumental in creating the Pulaski County Veterans Treatment Court.”
“Alicia believes that the current criminal legal system is fundamentally flawed and needs reform-minded individuals in order to achieve equity,” her website states. “It’s time for Alicia Walton – the Progressive Candidate.”
Arkansas Republicans have pounced on the news of Soros’ involvement in the prosecuting attorney’s race.
“Crime increases around the Nation where Soros funded Das and Prosecutors reign,” the group wrote in a statement. “Now as crime is on the rise in Little Rock, Soros turns his attention and cash to the Central AR Prosecuting Attorney’s Race, supporting soft on crime Alicia Walton.”
Arkansas voters will decide who wins the judicial race on May 24.