Washington — GOP candidate Terri Lynn Land added $1.66 million to her campaign coffers last quarter in her bid to become Michigan’s next U.S. senator, according to fundraising figures she released to The Detroit News.
The figures, which show a $600,000 personal donation to her campaign, indicate Land raised slightly more than the previous quarter ($1.06 million versus $1.05 million) but her overall total is down because she chipped in less personal funds. She will end the year with $3.34 million in her war chest, according to figures she released in advance of the Jan. 31 federal filing deadline.
Land said Monday the contributions signal Republicans have united around her candidacy and believe she can win. “The fact that we’ve been able to raise the money proves that,” Land said. “People have decided that’s what we need to do in Michigan and that’s why they are supporting us.”
In the previous quarter that covers July through September, Land added $2.05 million to her campaign, including a $1 million personal donation.
The 2014 Senate race in Michigan carries high stakes for Republicans and Democrats in control of the U.S. Senate. When U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Detroit, announced his retirement after more than three decades in the upper chamber, political handicappers had favored Michigan to remain in Democratic hands.
But recently, polling and a decline in President Barack Obama’s approval rating in Michigan have indicated a tight contest in the Great Lakes State, where millions of dollars will be needed to shore up advertising and ground game efforts in advance of the November election.
Land will face U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, who early on rallied his party around his candidacy.
Peters, a third-term member of Congress, has not yet released his fundraising totals. In each of the previous two quarters, he raised more than $1 million without the aid of personal funds and had more than $2.5 million in the bank at the end of September.
Michigan Democratic Party spokesman Joshua Pugh said Land’s personal wealth can’t overcome her GOP agenda that will hurt Michigan.
“Land has failed to hold a single public event in Michigan, and now she thinks she can use her personal millions to buy this seat from Michigan middle-class families,” Pugh said in a statement. “It takes more than self-funded millions to earn the votes of Michiganders.”
Land, a member of the Republican National Committee, said she believes it’s important to personally invest in the campaign. Land’s personal finance reports show she and her husband, Dan Hibma, a prominent real estate owner, have assets of at least $34 million. To date, she has chipped in $1.6 million to her campaign.
Since announcing her candidacy last summer, Land initially had trouble coalescing the Republican Party around her candidacy. Several members of Congress mulled a run for Senate. Gradually she has cleared the field to avoid a contentious August primary.
“People want a change in Michigan,” said Land, who said she wants to duplicate her success as Secretary of State on the federal level. “... The fact that this an open seat, it’s a real opportunity to win here.”