Incumbents dominate congressional campaign fund raising

Only five Michigan representatives face a challenger who has raised money

LANSING – Most of Michigan’s incumbent members of Congress are in a commanding position from a campaign finance perspective according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. As of the end of March, only five of Michigan’s 15 incumbents are being challenged by opponents who have raised money this election cycle. Only four challengers, including one Republican and one Democrat in the 9th District, have as much as $85,000 in cash on hand.

The most competitive money contest is in the Republican primary for the 7th District. First-term incumbent Rep. Joe Schwarz has raised $811,000 for the election cycle and has $334,000 cash on hand. Former state representative Tim Walberg has $304,000 in cash on hand; and Walberg took in more than Schwarz in the first quarter of 2006 - $179,000 to $154,000. Walberg has benefited significantly from earmarked out-of-state contributions solicited by the anti-tax Club for Growth.

In the 8th District, Democratic challenger Jim Marcinkowski has raised $146,000 this election cycle and has $117,000 cash on hand. Incumbent Republican Rep. Mike Rogers has raised $709,000 so far this cycle and has a $1 million cash balance.

In the 9th District, former Republican state representative Pan Godchaux has raised $59,000 and borrowed $100,000 for her primary challenge of incumbent Rep. Joe Knollenberg. Knollenberg leads all Michigan incumbents in fundraising so far this cycle with $1,270,000. He has $1,071,000 in cash on hand. Ninth District Democratic challenger Nancy Skinner has raised $88,000 and borrowed $15,000, and she has a cash balance of $89,000.

Two other Republican incumbents – Reps. Dave Camp and Candice Miller – have fund balances that top $1 million. Only two incumbents – Democratic Reps. Sander Levin and Bart Stupak – have cash balances less than $200,000.

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