LANSING -- The field of 449 primary election candidates for the Michigan House of Representatives reports raising $8.4 million this election cycle through July 20th, according to reports on file with the state’s Bureau of Elections as of July 27th.
The 65 House incumbents have raised $3.5 million, an average of $52,997. Speaker of the House Andy Dillon was the top fundraiser among incumbents with total receipts of $230,000. Dillon was allowed to raise funds without respect to contribution limits while fending off an attempted recall this term, although contributions that exceeded normal limits of $500 from an individual and $5,000 from an independent political action committee (PAC) cannot be used for his reelection campaign.
Just 19 incumbents (16 Democrats, three Republicans) face a contested primary election. There are 39 districts where both parties have uncontested primaries, 54 where only one party has a contested primary, and 17 where both parties have contested primaries.
The 39 candidates who seek to defeat incumbents and reported raising money took in $649,000, an average of $16,648. The leading fundraiser among challengers was JeanMarie Dahm (R-56th District) with $216,395. Dahm self-funded all but $220 of that total. The median amount raised by challengers who raised money was $2,629.
There were 157 candidates for the 45 open seats who reported raising money. Collectively, they took in $4,333,000. The average amount raised among them was $27,779 and the median was $19,303. The top fundraiser in an open seat was Vince Lorraine (R-51st District) with $154,525. Lorraine contributed $140,000 to his campaign.
There were 118 candidates who were granted a reporting waiver, indicating that they would raise and spend less than $1,000. Seventy candidates failed to file a report as of July 27th.
The House candidates reported spending $4,846,000 through July 20th. They have accumulated aggregate debt of $2,641,000.
Total fundraising is up by 15.8 percent compared to pre-primary results in 2006, when 80 incumbents and 553 candidates raised $7,274,000.
A table showing individual candidates’ total receipts, total expenditures, fund balance and debt is online at http://www.mcfn.org.