LANSING – Michigan’s major party congressional candidates reported raising $7.5 million in the period from July 15th through September 30th, according to reports filed yesterday with the Federal Election Commission. As a group, the candidates have raised $25.4 million so far this election cycle. The general election candidates raised $27.1 million for the entire election cycle in 2008.
Freshman Reps. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Hills) and Mark Schauer (D-Battle Creek) have raised the most this cycle, with $2.9 million and $2.8 million, respectively.
Each won a race that cost $9 million, overall, in 2008, and their races in Michigan’s 9th and 7th Districts are the most expensive again this year.
The top fundraiser this quarter was Rep. Dave Camp (R-Midland), who took in $777,555. Rep. Camp’s Democratic opponent in the 4th District hasn’t raised any money and his election is not competitive, but Mr. Camp is the ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee. If Republicans are able to win the majority in the U.S. House, Mr. Camp is in line to chair the powerful tax-writing committee.
“Interest groups are falling over themselves to show some love to Dave Camp,” said Rich Robinson of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. “That has nothing to do with his election. They’re hoping he’ll remember their campaign cash gratefully in the new Congress, and help to make some accommodations in the tax code. He who writes the rules wins the game.”
Of the $2.6 million Rep. Camp has raised this cycle, $2.0 million came from political action committees (PACs).
Superior financial support is critical to electoral success. However, with non-profit corporations and political party committees dominating several television ad wars, the candidates’ fund-raising is only part of the story. A summary of the candidates’ cash balances follows, as of October 1st, for the races where there is at least some degree of competitiveness:
1st District: Dan Benishek (R) - $308,804; Gary McDowell (D) - $182,863
3rd District: Justin Amash (R) - $257, 513; Pat Miles (D) - $165,825
5th District: John Kupiec (R) - $118,233; Dale Kildee (D) - $459,676
7th District: Tim Walberg (R) - $451,085; Mark Schauer (D) - $1,313,384
9th District: Rocky Raczkowski (R) - $383,564; Gary Peters (D) - $805,093
15th District: Rob Steele (R) - $313,957; John Dingell (D) - $1,117,043