August 13, 2014 at 4:50 pm

2 Supreme Court incumbents each raise about $500K; Calley $220K

Lansing— Two conservative justices on the Michigan Supreme Court have each raised about $500,000 for their campaigns.

Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley has raised and spent much more money than tea party challenger Wes Nakagiri before this month’s Republican state convention.

Justices Brian Zahra and David Viviano were appointed to the court by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder.

Viviano raised $495,000 and had $475,000 saved as of last week. He’s running in November for two years remaining in the term of Diane Hathaway, who quit because of a criminal conviction.

Zahra’s seeking a full eight-year term and has raised $503,000, with $482,000 saved.

Democrats this month may nominate Wayne County Circuit Judge Deborah Thomas to run against Zahra and someone else to face Viviano. They’ll choose blind attorney Richard Bernstein to fill the seat opening with Justice Michael Cavanagh’s retirement. Republicans will nominate Kent County Circuit Judge James Redford.

Bernstein has given his campaign $100,000.

Calley on Tuesday reported raising $220,000 this year and spending $214,000. Nakagiri raised $13,000 and spent $8,700.

Nakagiri loaned himself $10,000 this year and another $10,000 last year.

Republican activists will nominate Gov. Rick Snyder’s running mate on Aug. 23 in Novi. Typically it’s a formality to choose whoever the gubernatorial candidate wants. But some conservative activists upset over Snyder’s support for Medicaid expansion and other legislation are backing Nakagiri, a Brighton-area automotive engineering manager.

Calley’s supporters say he’s a proven conservative voice within the Snyder administration. “Establishment” Republicans have spent a year working to ensure favorable delegates are chosen to attend the convention.