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House, Senate Republicans outraise Democratic caucuses in third quarter

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

Michigan House and Senate Republicans outraised their Democratic counterparts by six-figure sums in a three-month period from roughly August through October, according to newly released campaign finance reports.

The fundraising advantage, which isn't unusual for a majority party, comes as Republicans focus on keeping their majority through 2022 election fights in newly drawn districts. 

Some of the largest contributions for all groups were from political action committees run by the chambers' own members. Republican contributions also included large amounts from Detroit area business leaders and some corporations. Democratic contributions, outside lawmaker PACs, stemmed largely from union groups. 

Michigan State Rep. Jason Wentworth, R-Farwell

House Republicans said Monday's report caps three consecutive reporting periods in 2021 in which the caucus has broken fundraising records. 

“House Republicans know how to win, and we know what it’s going to take to come back with another strong majority in 2022,” House Speaker of the House Jason Wentworth, R-Farwell, said in a statement. “We’ve been here before and come out successful, and now we’re putting ourselves in a stronger position to make sure this team comes back holding the gavel once again.”

House Republicans, which currently have a 57-52 majority, reported receiving a total of $625,161 in the third quarter — between July 21 and Oct. 25 — bringing their cash on hand to about $2.4 million.

Rep. Joe Tate, D-Detroit

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House Democrats, by contrast, received $428,681 in contributions and have about $1.3 million cash on hand. 

“People across Michigan recognize the opportunity we have to take the majority this cycle and finally deliver an agenda that helps Michigan families,” House Democratic Campaign Finance Chair Rep. Joe Tate, D-Detroit, said in a statement on the fundraising total.

Senate Republicans, which currently have a 20-16 majority, reported $444,622 in contributions and $4.4 million in cash on hand. Senate Democrats reported receiving $266,365 in contributions with an ending balance of $1.2 million.

Some of House Republicans' largest contributions came from legislative leadership and corporate political action committees; Detroit-area businessman Anthony Soave, who contributed nearly $42,000; billionaire Matthew Moroun, who contributed $20,000; the Health Care Association of Michigan PAC, which contributed more than $15,000; and AT&T Michigan PAC, which gave $12,500. 

The Michigan House Democratic Fund's largest donors included several legislative leadership PACs; the UAW Michigan Voluntary PAC, which contributed $39,475; the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters, which contributed nearly $12,000; and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which contributed $10,000. 

The Senate Republican Campaign Committee's haul includes contributions from several legislative leadership PACs, $41,975 from Lindsay Moroun, $40,000 from Soave, $20,000 from Blue Cross Blue Shield and $16,975 from MI Beer & Wine Wholesalers PAC.

Some of the largest contributions from the Senate Democratic Fund include legislative leadership PAC contributions, $10,000 from the Michigan Association for Justice, $10,000 from the AFSCME and $10,000 from the Michigan Laborers Union.