By CRAIG MAUGER
Michigan Campaign Finance Network
Paul Mitchell, the Republican who’s investing heavily in his own U.S. House campaign, ran an estimated $94,332 in broadcast TV ads in the last two weeks of May.
With two months before the state’s Aug. 2 primary election, the ads mark the first of Michigan’s 2016 congressional races, according to tracking data from Kantar Media, which monitors ads. Mitchell’s campaign ran about 50 broadcast ads in the Detroit TV market last month, according to Kantar’s numbers.
And according to filings with the Federal Communications Commission, the campaign has already ordered more ad time for June. Those filings show the purchases holding steady or increasing on four broadcast channels in the upcoming weeks.
Mitchell, of Dryden, is running in the 10th Congressional District this year. The district is currently represented by Candice Miller (R-Harrison Twp.), who decided not to seek re-election. Five Republican candidates are seeking the GOP nomination in the 10th. They are Mitchell, State Rep. Anthony Forlini (R-Harrison Twp.), State Sen. Phil Pavlov (R-St. Clair), former State Sen. Alan Sanborn (R-Shelby Twp.) and David VanAssche, of Shelby Twp..
But Mitchell has a major fundraising advantage over his opponents. At the end of the previous reporting period, which concluded on March 31, Mitchell’s campaign reported $2.13 million in total receipts. It reported $1.45 million cash on hand at the end of the period. No other campaign in the 10th had more than $140,000 cash on hand at the end of the period.
The wide majority of Mitchell’s campaign dollars have come from himself. So far, his campaign has reported $428,660 in contributions from Mitchell and $1.61 million in loans from him. There are no limits on the personal funds that candidates can give their campaigns.
Last election cycle, in 2014, Mitchell ran in the open 4th Congressional District, losing in the GOP primary. That time around, he gave or loaned his campaign about $3.56 million.
According to his campaign website, Mitchell previously served as CEO of Ross Education, a for-profit job-training organization.
Mitchell’s new TV ad describes him as a job creator. It also says that Mitchell is a “conservative outsider” and a “tough businessman with real-world experience.” You can view the ad here.
* The above image comes from Paul Mitchell's TV ad, entitled "Conservative Outsider."