Michigan Campaign Finance Network

News from MCFN: 07/30/2012

MI candidates for U.S. House, Senate have raised $40M

LANSING - Michigan candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate have raised more than $40 million so far this election cycle according to data compiled by the Michigan Campaign Finance Network from reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

The reports are complete through July 18th, the end of Michigan's pre-primary reporting period. Reports of additional contributions received after books closed for the reports are being filed daily.

In the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate nomination, former Rep. Pete Hoekstra's fundraising has topped that of charter school executive Clark Durant by more than 50 percent, $3.5 million to $2.2 million.

Durant's financial disadvantage has been partially offset by independent expenditures by the SuperPAC Prosperity for Michigan. Through July 27th, the committee has reported spending $466,000 supporting Durant/opposing Hoekstra.

Democratic incumbent Sen. Debbie Stabenow raised $11.8 million through July 18th. She has paid for October television advertising already.

In aggregate, the Senate candidates had raised $17,984,603 in contributions through July 18th.

U.S. House candidates reported $23.2 million in total receipts through July 18th. Michigan's 13 incumbents account for $19 million of that total, or 81.9 percent.

Incumbent Reps. Hansen Clarke and Gary Peters are facing off in the new 14th District Democratic primary. Peters has a large fundraising advantage there, $1.9 million to $700,000.

Other notable campaign finance summaries for the primaries show:
Incumbent Rep. John Conyers has an overall money advantage in the new 13th District, having raised $734,000. However, his cash position relative to state Sen. Glenn Anderson is competitive, and the presence of two other African-American candidates on the primary ballot puts Conyers in a challenging situation.
Former state Sen. Nancy Cassis has a fundraising advantage over Kerry Bentivolio in the 11th District Republican primary, $289,000 to $173,000. However, Bentivolio will be named on the ballot and Cassis is attempting a write-in campaign. Cassis has loaned her campaign $200,000. Bentivolio loaned his campaign $65,000, but the campaign has repaid him $50,000.
In the 3rd District Democratic primary, Trevor Thomas has raised more money from individual donors than Steve Pestka, $282,000 to $170,000. However, Pestka has loaned his campaign $610,000 and his total receipts top Thomas's, $794,000 to $294,000.
A threatened challenge by the Club for Growth to Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Fred Upton in the 6th District Republican primary never materialized in any serious way. In the candidate committees, Upton leads Jack Hoogendyk in total receipts, $3.2 million to $126,000.

Looking ahead to the general election, the 1st Congressional District appears likely to be the most competitive financially. In a rematch of the 2010 campaign, incumbent Rep. Dan Benishek leads challenger Gary McDowell in total receipts, $1.3 million to $938,000. However, McDowell leads in cash on hand, $629,000 to $428,000. In the 2010 campaign, the candidates raised $2.1 million (Benishek: $1.3 million, McDowell: $837,000) but third-party groups dominated the campaign by spending $4.8 million (supporting Benishek: $3.3M, supporting McDowell: $1.5M).

The Michigan Campaign Finance Network (MCFN) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that conducts research and public education on money in Michigan politics.

Contact

Rich Robinson

(517) 482-7198 or (517) 896-2246