Rep. Tom CottonTom CottonOvernight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions Lawmakers grapple with warrantless wiretapping program Senate passes 0B defense bill MORE (R-Ark.) has edged Sen. Mark PryorMark PryorMedicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Cotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm MORE (D-Ark.) in his fourth-quarter fundraising totals, bringing in $1.2 million to Pryor's $1.1 million.

Pryor has more money in the bank, with $4.2 million to Cotton's $2.2 million. But it's rare that challengers outraise incumbents this early in the campaign — and it's the latest signal of how tough a fight Pryor is in to retain his seat.

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While both hauled in big sums, neither candidate did much to increase their money in the bank, a sign of how expensive the race has already become. Cotton added approximately $300,000 to his warchest, while Pryor's total actually dipped by about $200,000 in that period. Both candidates have already been on television with ads.

Pryor is widely viewed as the most vulnerable incumbent senator facing reelection this year. Polls have found a tight race in the state.

"Arkansans are supporting Tom Cotton because he shares their values... Arkansas doesn't need a senator who will hand his voting card to Harry Reid whenever he asks for it," Cotton Campaign Manager Justin Brasell said in a statement announcing the numbers. 

"Heading into the election year, Mark will have every resource to remind voters about his record as a reliable and responsible voice for Arkansas families, while drawing clear contrasts with Congressman Cotton's reckless agenda that puts his own interests ahead of Arkansans," Pryor spokesman Erik Dorey fired back.