Terri Lynn Land (Detroit News file photo)
Washington — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land said Monday she has raised more than $2 million since launching her campaign for the 2014 election.
The former secretary of state said her third-quarter fundraising figures will show $2.05 million in contributions. More than half of the donations came from individuals and the rest, about $1 million, came from Land herself, according to her campaign.
About 1,500 contributors donated to Land’s Senate campaign, but none of the donors include federal political action committees, said John Yob, senior adviser to the Land campaign.
Since Land formed her campaign committee in July, she has been trying to unite the Republican Party around her bid and hopes her fundraising haul will not only clear the field for good but draw attention from national Republican groups.
She’s vying for the seat being vacated by the upcoming retirement of U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Detroit, who has served in the upper chamber for more than three decades. Land is trying to be the first Republican to win a Senate election in Michigan since Spencer Abraham in 1994.
Democrats have rallied around U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, who has steadily been fundraising and campaigning since he announced his Senate candidacy May 1. He’s a three-term member of Congress who represents Michigan’s 14th District in Wayne and Oakland counties.
In his second-quarter fundraising report, which covers April through June, Peters raised more than $1 million in the first two months of his campaign. More than half of his funding came from individual contributions, with the rest from political action committees, according to the report. He did not contribute any funds from his own pockets, which records show are not nearly as deep as Land’s.
Land’s personal finance reports show she and her husband, Dan Hibma, a prominent real estate owner, have assets of at least $34 million. She has pledged to contribute some of her wealth to her Senate campaign.
It’s unclear how Land’s third-quarter figures will stack up against Peters’ third-quarter fundraising, which has not yet been disclosed. Peters ended the second quarter in June with $1.8 million in cash on hand, with $813,000 coming from his House campaign, according to a campaign finance report.
Oct. 15 is the deadline for congressional candidates to file their quarterly fundraising reports.
As that deadline looms, Michigan’s Senate race is starting to heat up on another front.
Pure PAC, a super political action committee, said Monday it was launching its second television advertisement criticizing Peters’ spending record in Congress. The group began running cable TV ads in mid-September that spoof the award-winning “Pure Michigan” travel advertising campaign by claiming Peters is “Pure Washington.”
Paul Mitchell, a retired Saginaw-area businessman, founded Pure PAC but has not publicly endorsed Land for the Senate seat as some Republicans are reportedly still considering running for the seat.
Democrats have condemned Pure PAC as a vehicle for donors to conceal their identities through so-called “dark money” contributions.
“Michiganders have a message for Land — our U.S. Senate seat is not for sale, whether from Land’s pocket or the dark money she’s urging into the race,” Joshua Pugh, communications director for the Michigan Democratic Party, said Monday in a statement.
Mitchell responded: “The Peters campaign and Democrat operatives should well know that Pure PAC is required to report donors and expenditures.”