Schuette continues out-of-state fundraising

Chad Livengood
Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Lansing — Attorney General Bill Schuette has an “itch.”

And the only way to scratch it is to raise some campaign dough for himself and the Republican Attorneys General Association, which he became chairman of last month.

Schuette confirmed Thursday he was raising money for his own campaign committee and RAGA last week at events in New York and Washington.

“I think I did pretty well,” Schuette said of his fundraising at a year-end roundtable meeting with Capitol reporters. “You know, I’ve still kind of got the itch, so I’m still able to raise money.”

Schuette said the trip served dual purposes as he and his wife delivered a suitcase to their son in Washington, D.C., and then had dinner with their daughter in New York.

Schuette, who is widely expected to run for governor in 2018, cannot seek re-election as attorney general because of constitutional term limits.

But since being sworn into a second four-year term in January, Schuette has been raising money all year through his “Bill Schuette for Attorney General Committee.”

As of Oct. 20, Schuette had raised more than $271,870 in donations, more than half of which came from a series of five fundraisers Schuette has hosted, according to a campaign finance report.

Schuette acknowledged Thursday, for the first time, that the money he has been raising “technically could” be used for a 2018 gubernatorial campaign.

But the Midland Republican has repeatedly sidestepped questions about whether he’s laying the groundwork for a 2018 run for governor.

“My first focus is my job and obviously my family and then in terms of politics in 2016 it’s all about Jeb and the presidential convention, beating Hillary Clinton. ... There will be plenty of time for the politics of 2018 and 2017,” said Schuette, who is chairing former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign in Michigan.

“I’m measured about this stuff. I’m not in a lather, I’m not in a dither, I’m doing my job,” Schuette added. “I have respect for the governor. He hasn’t even finished his fifth year. I want him to succeed. I want to help in every way.”

Gov. Rick Snyder’s lieutenant governor, Brian Calley, is seen as a potential opponent to Schuette for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 2018.

Calley, who also is barred by term limits from being re-elected to his current post, had raised $103,565 through Oct. 20, campaign finance records show.

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