Borrowing and independent expenditures fuel House campaigns

Candidates raise $10.7 million as of pre-general reports

LANSING — Candidates for the Michigan House of Representatives had raised just over $10.7 million as of October 17th, the close-of-books date for pre-general reports for the November 2nd election. Of 256 candidates, 171 have raised money and 85 have filed for waivers indicating that they will not raise as much as $1,000. Twelve candidates had not filed their pre-general reports as of October 26th, including four who are at least two reports in arrears.

Collectively, the candidates have a balance of $2.45 million as of October 17th; and collectively they have accumulated $2.38 million in debt.

The average amount raised by those who have not filed for a waiver is $64,000: incumbents average $71,000; challengers to incumbents average $27,000; and candidates for open seats average $78,000. The median, above and below which are an equal number of candidates, is $53,580.

Fifteen races feature independent expenditures that have totaled $475,000 so far in the general election period. Typically, the great majority of independent expenditures by the parties and PACs occurs late in the election cycle and won't be reported until the post-election filings.

Total House fundraising in 2000 amounted to $12.55 million, and it was $9.96 million in 2002.

"With the most intense two weeks of the campaign yet to be reported, it appears highly likely that this year's House candidates will raise and spend more than their counterparts in the last two elections," said Rich Robinson of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. "And the residual debt, which far exceeds anything we’ve seen in the past, suggests that the new representatives will be busy raising more money soon after they’re sworn into office."

Press Release 2004 News