FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) - A dispute over how much money middle class people earn in Arkansas is now a hot topic in the U.S. Senate race.
U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton said a typical household in Arkansas makes about $40,000 a year. U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark. said in a debate on Tuesday (Oct. 14) it can be up to $200,000.
Cotton challenged Pryor's figure of $200,000 saying it "may be middle class in Washington, D.C., or in the suburbs of Washington, but here in Arkansas that puts you in the tip 2% of all income earned," he said.
According to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau in 2010, the median household income in Arkansas was $38,758.
Pryor addressed where he got the $200,000 figure on Wednesday (Oct. 15) saying "what we are talking about here is Congressman Tom Cotton voting to increase taxes on families up to $200,000."
Pryor went on and said he's on the side of all working Arkansans and has a voting record that's pro-middle class.
"I voted for middle class relief," he said. "He's voted for billionaire tax relief. That's really the contrast between us and that's why he's twisting and pushing so hard."
Cotton said Pryor's middle class income number indicates the Senator is out of touch with Arkansans.
"If he thinks a middle income family makes $200,000, he assumes they can face 139% increases in their premiums," he said. "Or if they lose their health insurance, they can just go buy new insurance that costs more."
Other contenders for the Senate seat are Libertarian Nathan LeFrance, Green Party candidate Mark Swaney and write-in candidate Scott Pfleegor.
Early voting starts Monday (Oct. 20). Election Day is Nov. 4.