LANSING – Michigan’s 15 incumbent members of the U.S. House of Representatives have dominated the political fundraising, according to pre-primary election campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission this week. They have raised $11.4 million, 86.8 percent of the total for all House candidates; and they have $8.6 million in cash on hand, 88.6 percent of the total.
Two incumbents, both Republicans, face a primary challenge of some financial significance: freshman Joe Schwarz in the 7th District and Joe Knollenberg in the 9th District.
In the 7th District, Schwarz has raised $1,360,755 compared to challenger Tim Walberg’s total of $615,348. However, Walberg had the advantage in cash on hand as of July 19th, $273,364 to $221,251. Walberg’s effort has been complemented by $298,318 in independent expenditures and $90,875 in issue ads sponsored by the anti-tax Club for Growth. Club for Growth also has acted as a conduit for $456,109 in earmarked individual contributions, making it the source for 84 percent of Walberg’s financial support thus far. Schwarz has benefited from $74,000 in independent expenditures by the centrist Republican Mainstreet Partnership, and a radio issue ad campaign sponsored by the Michigan Chamber of Commerce that ended July 7th.
In the 9th District, Knollenberg has raised $1,932,401 while challenger Pan Godchaux has raised $439,161. Godchaux loaned her campaign $300,000 of its total. Knollenberg has the advantage in cash on hand, $952,156 to $174,016.