Incumbents dominate Michigan congressional fundraising

Little financial competitiveness for the primaries, less for the general

LANSING -Second quarter campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission by Michigan's 2012 congressional candidates show incumbents dominating fundraising with little financial competitiveness apparent for the August 7th primary election or the November general election.

Incumbent members of congress have raised $18.7 million of the $22.7 million raised by candidates who will appear on the August ballot. The overall figure includes fundraising totals for former state Sen. Nancy Cassis, who is pursuing a write-in campaign in the 11th District Republican primary.

There is some financial competitiveness in three Democratic primaries: the 3rd, 13th and 14th Districts; and in the 11th District Republican primary.

The rematch contest in the 1st District between incumbent Republican Rep. Dan Benishek and former Democratic state Rep. Gary McDowell appears the most likely to be financially competitive for the general election.

In the 3rd District Democratic primary, Steve Pestka has accumulated total receipts of $794,258, compared to $261,336 for Trevor Thomas; and Pestka has the advantage in cash on hand: $658,961 to $144,989. However, Pestka's financial advantage is entirely attributable to self-funding. He has loaned his campaign $570,000.

In the 13th District Democratic primary incumbent Rep. John Conyers has raised total receipts of $708,482, compared to $212,048 for state Sen. Glenn Anderson. However, Conyers' lead over Anderson in cash on hand is just over $5,000, $141,900 to $136,820. State Sen. Bert Johnson has raised $84,585 for the primary, but he has only $3,457 in cash on hand.

In the 14th District Democratic primary, incumbent Rep. Gary Peters has raised $1.8 million and has $813,049 on hand, compared to $684,614 raised by incumbent Rep. Hansen Clarke, who has $381,142 on hand. Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence has raised $104,000 for the 14th District primary but she has less than $17,000 on hand.

In the 11th District Republican primary, Kerry Bentivolio has raised $168,016 and he has more than $94,000 in cash on hand. Ms. Cassis has raised $253,750, including a $200,000 loan she has given her campaign, and she had $237,772 on hand, as of June 30th.

In the 1st District contest, Mr. Benishek has raised $1,317,713, compared to $913,726 for Mr. McDowell. However, McDowell has the advantage in cash on hand, $686,662 to $614,235. The 2010 campaign between Benishek and McDowell featured $4.8 million in third-party spending: $3.3 million supporting Benishek, and $1.5 million supporting McDowell.

The top fundraisers in Michigan's congressional delegation this election cycle are Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, who has raised $3.5 million, and Commerce and Energy Chairman Fred Upton, who has raised $3.16 million.

Former 11th District Rep. Thaddeus McCotter raised $7,776 in the second quarter and he has just over $121,000 in his congressional campaign account.

Press Release 2012 News