5 Michigan Congressional Races Drew More Than $500,000 In The Last 3 Months

Northern Michigan's Swing 1st District Candidates Led In Fundraising From January Through March

Michigan Campaign Finance Network

LANSING — Candidates hoping to serve Michigan in the U.S. House next year raised a combined $3.4 million from Jan. 1 through March 31, according to newly released campaign finance disclosures.

On top of those fundraising dollars, two candidates combined to loan their campaigns another $1.1 million. Republican Paul Mitchell, a businessman who’s seeking the open 10th District seat, reported loaning his campaign $900,000. And Dr. Anil Kumar, a Democrat who’s running in the 11th District, said he gave his campaign $200,000.

Mitchell, who ran in the 4th House District Republican primary in 2014, is now running in the 10th for the seat currently held by Rep. Candice Miller (R-Harrison Twp.), who isn’t seeking re-election.

Mitchell reported raising $39,905 in the last three months in addition to his $900,000 in loans. For the cycle, Mitchell has reported loaning his campaign $1.6 million — far more than any of his primary opponents have raised so far.

As for those opponents, State Sen. Phil Pavlov (R-St. Clair) reported raising $55,894 in the three-month reporting period, and State Rep. Anthony Forlini (R-Harrison Twp.) reported raising $28,540 in the period, his first period since announcing his candicacy. Pavlov has raised $247,096 since his campaign began.

A fourth GOP candidate, former state lawmaker Alan Sanborn, reported raising just $456 during the last reporting period. For the campaign, he’s raised $48,608.

Outside of the loans, the Northern Michigan 1st District, a seat that’s open this year, pulled in the most fundraising dollars in the most recent reporting period: $561,218. The seat is currently held by Rep. Dan Benishek (R-Crystal Falls), who declined to seek re-election.

Democrats Jerry Cannon and Lon Johnson, former Michigan Democratic Party chair, are running in the 1st along with multiple Republicans, including former State Sen. Jason Allen (R-Traverse City) and State Sen. Tom Casperson (R-Escanaba).

The 7th District, held by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Tipton), attracted $541,558 during the last period. There, State Rep. Gretchen Driskell (R-Saline) is hoping to unseat Walberg. And the 8th District, held by Rep. Mike Bishop (R-Rochester), drew $539,596. There, Democrat Melissa Gilbert is hoping to unseat Bishop.

The other district that attracted more than $500,000 was the West Michigan 6th District, where Democrat Paul Clements is taking on Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph).

The following ranking shows the five Michigan congressional candidates who raised the most money between Jan. 1, 2016, and March. 31, 2016 (Note: Mitchell and Kumar’s loans are not included on this list):

1) Fred Upton, Republican, 6th District: Upton reported raising $386,288 in the last reporting period. He’s hoping to once again fend off Clements, who ran last cycle. About $305,000 of Upton’s haul for the quarter came from political action committees.

2) Melissa Gilbert, Democrat, 8th District: Gilbert reported raising $318,901 during the period. Her donor list included movie stars Ben Affleck, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Judd Apatow. In fact, Gilbert raised $58,350 from donors listing California addresses.

3) Gretchen Driskell, Democrat, 7th District: Driskell reported raising $315,546 during the period. Of that total, she raised $97,059 from political action committees. Of the major Democratic challengers this year in Michigan, Driskell has raised the most so far at $1.09 million.

4) Lon Johnson, Democrat, 1st District: Johnson reported raising $278,909 during the period. Organized labor stepped up for Johnson. He received $5,000 contributions from the United Auto Workers and the Communication Workers of America, among others.

5) Tim Walberg, Republican, 7th District: Walberg, the incumbent in the 7th District, raised $226,012 during the period. Of Walberg’s haul, he raised $86,750 from PACs. For the cycle, he’s raised $1.16 million, just more than Driskell’s $1.09 million.

Here are links to a breakdown of Michigan’s incumbent congressional delegation’s fundraising totals and to a fundraising breakdown for competitive races.

* Photos above come from the official government websites of the candidates or their official social media pages. Counter clockwise from top left are Driskell, Allen, Gilbert, Walberg, Johnson and Bishop.


Press Release 2016 News