Lansing — Attorney General Bill Schuette and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley continued to raise money during the first half of the year like they’re running for another office in 2018, though neither Republican statewide elected official has formally launched campaigns for governor.
Schuette collected about $300,000 in donations from Jan. 1 through July 20 for his recently renamed Bill Schuette for Michigan campaign committee, leaving him with $604,851 in cash on hand, according to a report filed Monday with the Secretary of State’s office.
Calley raised $167,950 during the same time period and had $459,650 in his campaign account, according to his campaign finance report.
Both men are widely considered to be mulling campaigns for the Republican nomination for governor in 2018. Gov. Rick Snyder is barred by term limits from seeking re-election after two four-year terms.
Schuette has been actively positioning himself for the next election in recent weeks, while Calley has been coy about whether he’ll try to succeed Snyder in office.
Former House Speaker Jase Bolger, R-Marshall, also has been coy about his aspirations for higher office after forming a campaign committee for an undetermined statewide campaign in 2018.
In January, Bolger transferred $31,268 from his dissolved state representative campaign committee to the new group, Jase Bolger for Michigan.
“I’m not currently pursuing a run for governor,” Bolger said Monday. “But I’m asked often and approached frequently.”
The former speaker added that he’s “not made any decisions about who can best lead our state in 2018.”
On the Democratic side, interim Ingham County Prosecutor Gretchen Whitmer reported raising $33,850 for her leadership fund, which could be used to fuel a gubernatorial campaign in 2018.
Whitmer, a former state Senate minority leader, has said she’s exploring a bid for the governor’s office. The Whitmer Leadership Fund had $39,724 in cash on hand as of July 20, according to campaign finance report filed Monday.
U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint Township, also has been studying the race for governor in 2018, but has not formed a state committee to raise money. Kildee is running for re-election this fall in mid-Michigan’s 5th Congressional District against Republican Al Hardwick of Davison.