State candidates' campaign finances - two weeks out

LANSING - Candidates for state offices in Michigan filed reports on Friday, October 24th that summarized their campaign finance activities for the period from August 26th through October 19th. Those were the final complete reports to be filed by the candidates prior to the November 4th election, although the committees still must file late contribution reports for any new donation of $1,000 or more, within 24 hours of receipt of the contribution.

The Michigan Campaign Finance Network has compiled campaign finance records for the 2014 election cycle. Summaries follow for candidates for constitutional executive offices, the Michigan Supreme Court, the Michigan Senate and the Michigan House of Representatives.

Constitutional Executives

Incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Snyder had raised $12.6 million through October 19th, while his Democratic challenger Mark Schauer had raised $9.1 million. Gov. Snyder had a campaign balance of $1.8 million, while Mr. Shauer's committee had a balance of $1.4 million.

Mr. Schauer's totals include $990,000 from the state public campaign fund. Those public funds were distributed as a two-to-one match for contributions of up to $100 from individual donors during the primary election period.

This year's gubernatorial candidates are nowhere near record levels of campaign fundraising. In 2006 Gov. Jennifer Granholm's campaign raised $15.7 million, while her Republican challenger Dick DeVos had $42.6 million in his campaign account - including $35.5 million of self-funding.

Incumbent Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette had raised $3.7 million for his campaign account by October 19th and he had a campaign balance of almost $1.1 million. His Democratic challenger Mark Totten had raised $679,000 and his account had a balance of $104,000.

Mr. Schuette's fundraising is a record for an attorney general candidate, breaking his own record of $2.2 million in 2010.

Incumbent Republican Secretary of State Ruth Johnson had raised $936,962 and had a campaign balance of $44,000. That total includes a loan of $338,000 from Ms. Johnson's husband that has been repaid.

Democratic secretary of state challenger Godfrey Dillard had raised $124,000 and he had just less than $50,000 in cash on hand.

The record secretary of state campaign was in 2002 when Republican Terri Lynn Land raised $2.1 million. Ms. Land's husband contributed $1.8 million to that effort.

None of the minor party candidates for the constitutional executive offices has raised as much as $1,000.

Supreme Court

Richard Bernstein's campaign committee has set a record for Michigan Supreme Court candidates: $2.1 million, as of October 19th. Mr. Bernstein contributed $1,859,000 of that amount. His new record breaks that of former Justice Clifford Taylor, whose campaign committee raised $1.9 million in a losing effort in 2008.

Among the other candidates for the two eight-year seats on the Supreme Court, incumbent Justice Brian Zahra's committee had raised $914,000, Kent County Circuit Court Judge James R. Redford had raised almost $398,000 and Michigan Court of Appeals Chief Judge William Murphy had raised $356,000.

Justice Zahra and Judge Redford are the Republican Party's nominees for the nonpartisan Supreme Court ballot, while Judge Murphy and Mr. Bernstein are the Democratic Party's nominees.

Doug Dern is the fifth candidate for the two full-term seats. He was nominated by the Natural Law Party and he has a reporting waiver. The waiver indicates he will raise and spend less than $1,000.

Incumbent Justice David Viviano has the top fundraising total for the two-year term with $861,000. Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Deborah Thomas has raised $47,000.

Justice Viviano was nominated by the Republican Party and Judge Thomas by the Democratic Party.

Libertarian nominee Kerry Lee Morgan, the third candidate for the two-year term, has a reporting waiver.

Michigan Senate

Candidates for the Michigan Senate had total receipts of $12.65 million as of October 19th. Comparable totals from the past two Senate elections were $9.9 million in 2010 and $12.96 million in 2006.

The top dollar races as of October 19th include the following:

20th District: Republican State Rep. Margaret O'Brien had raised $836,000, $469,000 from the Senate Republican Campaign Committee (SRCC); Democratic State Rep. Sean McCann had raised $630,000, $192,000 from the Senate Democratic Fund (SDF); Libertarian former State Rep. Lorence Wenke raised $104,000, $100,000 self-funded.

32nd District: Democratic State Rep. Stacy Erwin Oakes raised $472,000, $110,000 from the SDF; Republican State Rep. Ken Horn raised $354,000, $28,000 from the SRCC.

7th District: Incumbent Republican Sen. Patrick Colbeck raised $398,000, $133,000 from the SRCC; Democratic State Rep. Dian Slavens raised $303,000, $20,000 from the SDF.

34th District: Incumbent Republican Sen. Goeff Hansen raised $606,000, $211,000 from the SRCC; Democrat Cathy Forbes raised $162,000 without assistance from the SDF.

17th District: Republican State Rep. Dale Zorn raised $413,000, $138,000 from the SRCC; Democratic former State Rep. Doug Spade raised $216,000, $20,000 from the SDF.

Michigan House of Representatives

Candidates for the Michigan House of Representatives had total receipts of $13.6 million as of October 19th. Comparable totals from the past two House elections were $13.0 million in 2012 and $9.9 million in 2010.

The top dollar races as of October 19th include the following:

91st District: Incumbent Democratic Rep. Collene Lamonte raised $309,000, $86,000 from the House Democratic Fund (HDF); Republican former Rep. Holly Hughes raised $246,000, $83,000 from the House Republican Campaign Committee (HRCC).

76th District: Incumbent Democratic Rep. Winnie Brinks raised $356,000, $151,000 from the HDF; Republican Donijo DeJonge raised $179,000, $39,000 from the HRCC.

71st District: Incumbent Democratic Rep Theresa Abed raised $296,000, $149,000 from the HDF; Republican Tom Barrett raised $184,000, $46,000 from the HRCC.

99th District: Incumbent Republican Rep. Kevin Cotter raised $247,000, $30,000 from the HRCC; Democrat Bryan Mielke raised $178,000, $77,000 from the HDF.

101st District: Incumbent Republican Rep. Ray Franz raised $167,000, $28,000 from the HRCC; Democrat Tom Stobie raised $229,000, $81,000 from the HDF.

85th District: Incumbent Republican Rep. Ben Glardon raised $157,000, $10,000 from the HRCC; Democrat Annie Braidwood raised $164,000, $83,000 from the HDF.

66th District: Incumbent Republican Rep. Aric Nesbitt raised $183,000, $12,000 from the HRCC; Democrat Anne Brown raised $135,000, $51,000 from the HDF.

21st District: Republican Carol Ann Fausone raised $125,000, $17,000 from the HRCC; Democrat Kristy Pagan raised $171,000 with no assistance from the HDF.

61st District: Republican Brandt Iden raised $120,000, $600 from the HRCC; Democrat John Fisher raised $176,000, $134,000 from the HDF.

25th District: Incumbent Democratic Rep. Henry Yanez raised $159,000, $2,500 from the HDF; Republican Nick Hawatmeh raised $129,000, $32,000 from the HRCC.

Two other district races show high fundraising totals that included high primary election spending:

39th District: Incumbent Republican Rep. Klint Kesto raised $299,000, $48,000 from the HRCC; Mr. Kesto spent $178,000 in his primary. Democrat Sandy Colvin raised $81,000 with no assistance from the HDF.

98th District: Republican Gary Glenn raised $241,000 with no assistance from the HRCC; Mr. Glenn spent $155,000 in his primary; Democrat Joan Brausch raised $115,000 with no assistance from the HDF.

It bears emphasizing: Many late contributions have already been reported and more will come. Historically the caucus PACs dominate funding in the most competitive races.

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