Michigan’s Top Election Spenders Are Starting Early On Raising Big Money For 2018

House Republican Campaign Committee Disclosed Raising A Record Amount For The First Quarter Of A Non-Election Year

By CRAIG MAUGER
Michigan Campaign Finance Network

 

LANSING — The 2018 election cycle started with a boom for groups that tend to be among the biggest spenders in races for the Michigan Legislature.

The main fundraising committees of Senate Republicans, Senate Democrats, House Republicans and House Democrats combined to raise $2.10 million from Jan. 1, 2017, through April 20, 2017, according to disclosures due on Tuesday. That haul, $2.10 million, is the highest total for the first quarter of a non-election year the four committees have reported in a decade.

In 2007, the caucus committees combined to raise $2.12 million by April 20, 2007, which remains the record.

Since 2007, however, the caucuses’ total for the first quarter of 2017 is more than $400,000 above any combined total over that time period in a non-election year.

The numbers point to the expectation that Michigan’s 2018 election will be one of the most expensive in state history. Next year, Michigan voters will choose a new governor, a new attorney general, a new secretary of state and candidates to fill all 148 seats in the Legislature. Plus, there will be a race for the U.S. Senate.

Driving up the fundraising totals so far in the 2017-2018 cycle is the fact that the House Republican Campaign Committee alone reported raising $817,422 between Jan. 1, 2017 and April 20, 2017. That’s an average of $52,494 a week over the period.

According to data tracked by MCFN going back to 2001, no caucus committee has raised more than $800,000 in the first quarter of a non-election year in Michigan. In a press release on Tuesday, the House Republican Campaign Committee labeled their total for the first quarter of 2017 “a record.”

“That amount also puts the caucus far ahead of where it was two years ago,” the press release from the House Republicans said.

Two years ago, the 2016 state House races were the most expensive in Michigan history, according to MCFN's tracking. But both the House Democratic Fund and the House Republican Campaign Committee reported raising more between Jan. 1, 2017, and April 20, 2017 than they did between Jan. 1, 2015, and April 20, 2015.

The four caucus committees raised more than any other political committee in Michigan over the first quarter of 2017. A full list of the top 150 political committees in fundraising so far this year can be found by clicking here. The top 150 committees combined to raise $6.8 million from Jan 2, 2017 through April 20, 2017, according to their reports.

Below are the four caucuses’ fundraising totals and their top donors for the start of 2017.

House Republican Campaign Committee
$817, 411 raised, 165 individual contributions

Top donors included:

Nancy and John Kennedy, Autocam, Kentwood, $80,000
Spencer Partrich, Lautrec, Farmington Hills, $40,000
Tom Leonard for State Representative, $40,000
Michigan Values Leadership Fund, Rep. Tom Leonard, $40,000
Realtors PAC, Michigan Association of Realtors, $40,000
J.C. Huizenga, Huizenga Group, Grand Rapids, $30,000
Ron Weiser, Michigan Republican Party chair, Ann Arbor, $20,000

House Democratic Fund
$410,576 raised, 772 individual contributions

Top donors included:

Singh for Michigan, Rep. Sam Singh, $35,000
Realtors PAC, Michigan Association of Realtors, $20,000
Michigan Education Association PAC, $20,000
Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters, $20,000
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers PAC, $15,000
Greig Women In Leadership Fund, Rep. Chris Greig, $15,000
Auto Dealers of Michigan PAC, $10,000

Senate Republican Campaign Committee
$621,271 raised, 132 individual contributions

Top donors included:

Realtors PAC, Michigan Association of Realtors, $40,000
Moving Michigan Forward, Sen. Arlan Meekhof, $40,000
Health PAC, Michigan Health and Hospital Association, $25,000
DTE Energy PAC, $20,500
Stamas Leadership PAC, Sen. Jim Stamas, $20,000
J.C. Huizenga, Westwater Group, Grand Rapids, $20,000
Senate Majority 2018 PAC, $20,000

Senate Democratic Fund
$251,579 raised, 262 individual contributions

Top donors included:

Ananich Senate Majority Fund, Sen. Jim Ananich, $40,000
Ananich Future Fund PAC, Sen. Jim Ananich, $35,000
Realtors PAC, Michigan Association of Realtors, $20,000
Michigan Education Association PAC, $20,000
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers PAC, $15,000
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan PAC, $10,000
United Auto Workers Michigan Voluntary PAC, $10,000

Tags
Press Release Fundraising 2018 Election State House