GOP’s Upton raises more than $350K

Melissa Nann Burke
Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington — Republican Rep. Fred Upton, who is considering a run for the Senate, raised the most among U.S. House members from Michigan in the second quarter.

Rep. Fred Upton.

Upton of St. Joseph, who chaired the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee until January, raised $356,200 during the three months ending June 30 and had nearly $771,710 on hand, according the reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

“I think he’s trying to look strong to keep any serious opponents from getting in,” said GOP consultant John Truscott. “The Dems are targeting a number of Republicans, and this is one way to not make the target list.”

Upton’s southwest Michigan district is already among those that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee hopes to flip in the midterm elections. Several Democrats have already declared their candidacy.

David Dulio, chair of the political science department at Oakland University, doesn’t think Upton’s fundraising necessarily has any connection to a possible Senate run, noting that Upton has raised a great deal of money during the previous few election cycles.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

If Upton wins the primary and aims to take on Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Lansing, “he’ll have to really start taking in funds,” Dulio said. Stabenow has more than $5.8 million on hand.

“I imagine he'd have to raise at least $12 million to compete,” Dulio said of Upton, noting Republican Terri Lynn Land raised that much in her failed bid to beat Sen. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, in 2014.

“Upton would have to at least match that to have a chance to unseat Stabenow.”

Stabenow brought in more than $2.1 million during the quarter. Republican hopeful Lena Epstein raised more than $460,000 and had more than $455,000 on hand as of June 30, her campaign said. Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Bob Young Jr., a Republican, also is a candidate.

Just behind Upton on the House side, Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland, brought in nearly $331,600 and had $453,180 on hand. His Democratic challenger, Rob Davidson, raised just over $8,920 and had $9,577 in the bank.

Political newcomer Haley Stevens, a Democrat, out-raised the incumbent in District 11, hauling in more than $323,000 to GOP Rep. Dave Trott’s $154,127. Trott, a sophomore congressman, ended the quarter with nearly $284,200 on hand.

Trott, a multimillionaire, is also capable of lending himself money. In his first campaign for Congress, he contributed more than $3.6 million of his own money to defeat incumbent GOP U.S. Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Milford, and win the 2014 general election.

In another competitive district, GOP Rep. Mike Bishop of Rochester brought in $274,875 and had nearly $393,950 in the bank.

Democratic candidate Elissa Slotkin, a former Defense Department official, raised $100,000 in the first 72 hours after declaring her candidacy last week, according to her campaign. Another Democrat in the race, Darlene Domanik, took in $13,615 and closed out with $12,556 on hand.

In northern Michigan, freshman Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Watersmeet, reported raising $159,859 for the quarter and had $89,616 in the bank. His campaign also carries $269,000 in debt, according to his campaign’s FEC filing. Democrat Matthew Morgan took in $115,328, ending with $71,125 on hand as of June 30.

Republican Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Tipton, does not yet have an opponent, but he had a healthy quarter, raising $197,375 and had $387,453 on hand.

Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee of Flint Township raised nearly $116,990 and had more than $600,200 on hand.