LANSING - Fundraising by Michigan House candidates is running well ahead of the pace of the last two election cycles. Through pre-general reports, the general election candidates have raised $13.04 million. The comparable figures for 2010 and 2008 were $9.45 million and $11.7 million, respectively.
A partial explanation for those differences is that House candidates tend to raise more in presidential years because candidates for state senate and the constitutional executive offices are not on the ballot. Figures in 2008 lagged because that was a low point in the Great Recession.
Overall, Republicans have raised substantially more than Democrats, $7,640,387 to $5,403,903. In part, that reflects the fact solid Democratic seats in Detroit and other urban centers are not particularly expensive races. In part, it reflects the advantage of incumbency, with Republicans holding a solid majority in the House.
Among the races with the most money, as of October 21st:
• The 103rd District, where incumbent Republican Bruce Rendon had raised $300,656 and Democratic challenger Lon Johnson had raised $261,721; Total: $562,377
• The 52nd District, where incumbent Republican Mark Ouimet had raised $379,782 and Democratic challenger Gretchen Driskell had raised $180,104; Total: $559,886.
• The 71st District, where incumbent Republican Deb Shaughnessy had raised $339,258 and Democratic challenger Theresa Abed had raised $95,480; Total: $434,738.
• The 70th District, where incumbent Republican Rick Outman had raised $276,105 and Democratic challenger Mike Huckleberry had raised $78,362; Total: $354,467.
• The 91st District, where incumbent Republican Holly Hughes had raised $197,898 and Democratic challenger Collene LaMonte had raised $127,917; Total: $325,815.
• The 101st District, where incumbent Republican Ray Franz had raised $196,961 and Democratic challenger Allen O'Shea had raised $113,952; Total: $310,913
A few other districts where overall fundraising is not as high, but the candidates' totals are very closely matched include:
• The 108th District, where incumbent Republican Ed McBroom has raised $117,096 and Democratic challenger Sharon Gray had raised $116,667; Total: $213,763.
• The open 67th District, where Republican Jeff Oesterle has raised $117,585 and Democrat Tom Cochran has raised $106,151; Total: $223,736.
• The open 25th District, where Republican Sean Clark has raised $95,659 and Democrat Henry Yanez has raised $110,015. Total: $205,674.
The House Republican Campaign Committee and the House Democratic Fund are able to make unlimited contributions to members of their caucuses, which frequently accelerate spending in competitive races as the end of the campaign approaches. The numbers reported by the candidates are subject to rapid change.