By CRAIG MAUGER
of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network
Michigan voters don’t head to the polls for the state’s presidential primary for another month. But already, donors from Michigan have chipped in more than $5 million to committees backing presidential candidates.
That number represents $4.04 million given to presidential contenders’ candidate committees and another $999,275 given to super PACs (political action committees) supporting the candidates.
When it comes to the candidate committees alone, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush raised the most in Michigan in 2015 at $985,067. Finishing in second was Dr. Ben Carson, a Detroit native, who raised $692,068.
Unlike Bush, whose average contribution from Michigan was $1,614, Carson relied more heavily on small contributions. He collected nearly 5,000 individual contributions from Michigan in 2015.
As for Democrats, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton raised the most money in Michigan at $640,070. Her top opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, raised $193,573 in Michigan over the last year.
Year-end campaign finance reports for committees were due to the Federal Election Commission on Sunday.
Here’s a run-down of the top 10 presidential candidate committees in terms of Michigan fundraising for 2015:
Jeb Bush, Republican, $985,067
Ben Carson, Republican, $692,068
Hillary Clinton, Democrat, $640,070
Marco Rubio, Republican, $567,645
Ted Cruz, Republican, $375,635
John Kasich, Republican, $226,292
Bernie Sanders, Democrat, $193,573
Rand Paul, Republican, $183,603
Carly Fiorina, Republican, $96,923
Martin O’Malley, Democrat, $30,287
Republican Donald Trump finished just outside the top 10, having raised $22,799 from Michigan donors.
Members of the wealthy West Michigan-based DeVos family have given maximum contributions to three of the GOP presidential contenders. Ohio Gov. John Kasich received $2,700 contributions from four members of the family. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio received $2,700 contributions from eight members of the family. And Bush received $2,700 contributions from seven members of the family.
When it comes to super PACs, the Michigan Campaign Finance Network looked at the disclosures of 12 of the most active and found $999,275 in contributions from Michigan in 2015.
The wide majority of the money from Michigan was in the form of two large contributions to America Leads, a committee supporting New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Dan Gilbert, chairman of Quicken Loans, gave America Leads $750,000, and ETC Capital gave it $150,000.