LANSING - Michigan's incumbent state legislators raised $6.8 million for their state campaign committees in 2013. That total is 52 percent higher than comparable figures from four years ago.
Two factors contribute to the dramatic increase in fundraising this cycle. First, there were 29 term-limited senators beginning their final year in office in 2010, compared to just seven this year. Secondly, the great recession had seriously dampened political fundraising in the 2010 election cycle.
State representatives have raised $3,461,368 for their House campaign accounts since their post-election reports were filed in November 2012. That figure is close to totals from the same period in the in the middle of the 2012 cycle, $3,488,693, but House fundraising is normally more robust in presidential campaign years, when there is less competition from state donors because state senators and constitutional executives are not on the ballot. The comparable fundraising total for representatives in the 2010 cycle was $2,621,369.
Rep. Gretchen Driskell (D-Saline) is the top fundraiser among state representatives so far this cycle with $94,006. She is followed by Rep. Kurt Heise (R-Plymouth Township) with $90,795 and Rep. Kevin Cotter (R-Mount Pleasant) with $87,140. Mr. Heise's total includes $50,000 of self-funding.
Michigan senators raised $2,599,586 in 2013, and they have raised $5,675,102 so far this election cycle. The annual total in 2009 was $1,727,551. The comparable annual total from the cycle before that, in 2005, was $2,779.608.
Sen.John Moolenaar (R-Midland) is the leading fundraiser among senators this cycle with $366,025. Second is Sen. Jim Ananich (D-Flint), who ran in a special primary and general election to earn his seat in 2013, with $331,671. Third best total this cycle belongs to term-limited Sen. Roger Kahn (R-Saginaw Township), with $310,949.
Sixteen representatives have established senate campaign committees so far this cycle. Ten of those representatives raised a total of $760,933, while six of them did not file their statement of organization until after the beginning of 2014. In the 2010 cycle, with 29 senate seats opening up due to term limits, 18 representatives had raised $1.24 million at the corresponding point in that campaign cycle.
Leading fundraisers, so far, among representatives seeking senate seats are Rep. Sean McCann (D-Kalamazoo), $127,154; Rep. Peter MacGregor (R-Cannon Township), $114,988; and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit), $110,396.
This is the last time officeholders will go a full year between campaign finance reports. A law passed by the legislature in 2013 will require thrice-annual reporting in non-election years.