Michigan's U.S. House candidates have raised $26.1M

1st District race most competitive

LANSING - Michigan's general election candidates for the United States House of Representatives have raised $26.1 million in campaign cash through September 30th, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Michigan's most heavily contested U.S. House race is the 1st District, where incumbent Republican Rep. Dan Benishek is opposed by Democratic former state Rep. Gary McDowell in a rematch of the 2010 campaign. Mr. Benishek has raised $1,760,950, compared to $1,313,155 raised by Mr. McDowell. Mr. Benishek had $570,834 cash on hand. Mr. McDowell had $603,812.

The 1st District race is also awash in outside spending. The Center for Responsive Politics reports that $3.1 million has been spent already by non-candidate committees, with $1.7 million aiding Mr. Benishek and $1.4 million aiding Mr. McDowell.

The 1st District featured $4.8 million in outside spending in 2010: $3.3 million helping Mr. Benishek, and $1.5 million helping Mr. McDowell.

Two other districts appear to be competitive from a campaign finance perspective. In the 3rd District, incumbent Republican Rep. Justin Amash has raised $1,190,847 and had $482,892 in cash on hand. Former Democratic state representative and district judge Steve Pestka has raised $1,412,180 and had $162,287 cash on hand. Mr. Pestka, who had an expensive primary election, has loaned his campaign $1,050,000.

In the 11th District, an open seat, Democrat Syed Taj has raised $507,569 and had $397,846 cash on hand. His Republican opponent, Kerry Bentivolio, has raised $363,196 and had $106,503 on hand. Mr. Bentivolio won the August primary with a boost of $692,000 in independent spending by the superPAC, Liberty for All. He also won a special primary in September to run in a second election on November 6th, to complete the term of former Rep. Thaddeus McCotter. Mr. Bentivolio's opponent in the special election, Democrat David Curson, has raised $21,236 and had $12,535 on hand.

Incumbent 4th District Republican Rep. Dave Camp, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, is the leading fundraiser among Michigan congressional candidates this year with $4,232,402. Incumbent 6th District Republican Rep. Fred Upton, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is second with $3,776,050.

Five incumbent members of Congress face challengers who have not raised money. Overall, the incumbents have raised $21,514,069, and non-incumbents have raised $4,624,083.

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