Ark. US Rep. Tom Cotton spending week in Israel

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Republican Congressman Tom Cotton of Arkansas is spending the week in Israel after announcing a bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor.

A spokesperson for Cotton said Wednesday the first-term congressman traveled to Israel last weekend and will spend the week there attending American Israel Educational Foundation seminar. Spokesperson Caroline Rabbitt said the trip is official business and not related to his Senate bid.

The trip is paid for by the foundation and was approved by the House Ethics Committee, according to Rabbitt. She said the bi-annual seminar is open to freshmen lawmakers from both parties. The trip was of particular interest to Cotton because there are two Israeli-owned businesses in his south Arkansas district.

Cotton announced last week that he would challenge Pryor in next year's election.

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