Michigan Democrats dominate in latest U.S. House fundraising
Washington — Democrats running in U.S. House races in Michigan racked up large fundraising hauls last quarter, bolstering their cash reserves for the final weeks of campaigning before the Nov. 6 midterm elections.
Eleven of 14 Democratic candidates for Congress in Michigan raised more money than their opponents in the third quarter, according to reports filed Monday with the Federal Election Commission.
Those outraised by Democrats during the period include five Republican incumbents: U.S. Reps. Mike Bishop of Rochester, Tim Walberg of Tipton, Bill Huizenga of Zeeland, Jack Bergman of Watersmeet and Justin Amash of Cascade Township.
Democrat Elissa Slotkin of Holly, who is challenging Bishop in the 8th District, again raised more than any other House candidate in the state, posting her best quarter yet.
Slotkin, a former top Defense official in the Obama administration, brought in $2.6 million and reported $1.83 million cash on hand as of Sept. 30, according to her official disclosure report.
Slotkin has raised $1.8 million more this cycle than Bishop, who posted nearly $808,000 for the quarter and had nearly $1.28 million in the bank heading into October.
For comparison, the average amount raised by House candidates for the entire 2016 cycle was $1.1 million, according to figures compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Bishop has had help raising money from Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan, who attended a Bishop fundraiser last month.
White House help
President Donald Trump also issued an appeal for Bishop by email Monday, urging support for "great conservatives like Mike Bishop," highlighting his work on the GOP tax reform bill.
“Elissa Slotkin and Nancy Pelosi raised money in California, so it’s no surprise Slotkin brought in millions in liberal, special interest money from California, New York and Washington, D.C.," Bishop consultant Stu Sandler said.
"No matter how many millions the liberal special interests try to spend on behalf of Nancy Pelosi, the 8th District is not for sale."
Slotkin's campaign emphasized that she accepts no money from corporate political action committees and supports campaign finance reform.
The California fundraiser referenced by Sandler was hosted by U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, and that Pelosi also attended, Slotkin spokeswoman Laura Epstein said.
"Elissa Slotkin has repeatedly made clear that she will not support Nancy Pelosi for speaker and, while Rep. Bishop has taken over $1 million from corporate PACs, Slotkin has not taken a penny," Epstein said.
"This is in direct contrast to Rep. Bishop, who votes for the preferences of corporate special interests at the expense of Michiganders."
In the 11th District, Democrat Haley Stevens outraised GOP opponent Lena Epstein roughly 4-1 last quarter.
Stevens of Rochester Hills brought in nearly $1.96 million in the third quarter and had $1.1 million in cash reserves as of Sept. 30.
Epstein of Bloomfield Township generated nearly $474,655 and had about $363,230 on hand.
Stevens and Epstein are competing to succeed retiring Rep. Dave Trott, R-Birmingham, who has endorsed Epstein.
Stevens' campaign said she raised more money in the quarter than any previous Democrat has in the GOP-leaning 11th District for an entire election cycle.
GOP Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, is expected at an Epstein fundraiser Thursday in Birmingham.
Other Democrats reported relatively large hauls in traditionally Republican-leaning districts, including Gretchen Driskell, who raised nearly $795,075 and reported $1.2 million on hand in the 7th District.
Driskell raised more than Rep. Walberg, who brought in nearly $433,600 last quarter and reported $1.2 million in cash reserves.
Ryan, R-Wisconsin, is expected to campaign in Michigan on behalf of Walberg before the Nov. 6 election, according to Ryan's campaign.
Walberg, who is seeking a sixth term, defeated Driskell to win re-election in 2016 by 15 percentage points.
Democrat Matt Morgan of Traverse City raised about $362,985 last quarter to Rep. Bergman's $290,360.
Morgan, a first-time candidate, successfully waged a write-in campaign to appear on the general election ballot.
Bergman had nearly $446,800 on hand on Sept. 30, while Morgan reported $235,590 in cash reserves. Bergman, a freshman lawmaker, won election in 2016 by nearly 15 percentage points.
Democrat Rob Davidson, who is running against Rep. Huizenga in West Michigan's 2nd District, raised nearly $508,110 last quarter to Huizenga's $347,550.
Davidson's total included $28,000 that he loaned his campaign, according to his disclosure report. He reported nearly $601,000 cash on hand to Huizenga's $654,875.
Huizenga turned back his last Democratic challenger in 2016 by 30 percentage points.
Amash, who is seeking a fifth term, brought in nearly $43,600 last quarter — bested by Democrat Cathy Albro's $70,637.
But the libertarian-leaning Amash maintains a formidable war chest with over $230,800 in cash reserves to Albro's $22,619. He won re-election in his Grand Rapids-area district two years ago by 22 points.
Longtime Republican Rep. Fred Upton raised nearly $633,500 last quarter to Democrat Matt Longjohn's $474,815, according to disclosure reports.
Upton of St. Joseph also posted $1.38 million in cash reserves to $169,125 for Longjohn, who is from Portage. Upton won re-election in 2016 by 22 percentage points.
Democrat Andy Levin reported receipts of nearly $387,840 for last quarter, besting GOP opponent Candius Stearns of Sterling Heights who brought in just over $29,000. Levin's total included $65,000 he loaned his campaign, according to his disclosure report.
Levin and Stearns are facing off in the 9th District to decide who will succeed Levin's father, longtime Rep. Sandy Levin, D-Royal Oak, who is retiring.
Levin had $102,000 in cash reserves as of Sept. 30, and Stearns had $73,805.