VP Pence supports Schuette with PAC donation

Jonathan Oosting
Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Lansing — Vice President Mike Pence is using his new political action committee to boost Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s campaign for governor, the latest show of support by members of President Donald Trump’s administration.

Pence’s Great America Committee is donating $6,800 to Schuette and has so far contributed more than $200,000 to Republican candidates across the country who have been “supportive of the president’s agenda,” according to spokesman Marc Lotter.

Pence filed paperwork for the PAC in May, fueling speculation about his own aspirations as he became the first vice president to form a separate fund for political uses. He can use the committee to donate to other candidates and cover travel expenses if he campaigns for them.

“As former Midwest governor, (Pence) understands the type of leadership that is needed” and believes Schuette can help to continue “reviving the Michigan economy,” Lotter said.

Pence served as governor of Indiana until early 2017 and has maintained a healthy working relationship with term-limited Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. Lt. Gov. Brian Calley of Portland is also considering a run for governor, but the Trump administration is throwing its weight behind Schuette.

Trump endorsed Schuette in September, and the attorney general has remained a loyal supporter of the president’s since backing him in the general election.

Schuette is considered the early front-runner for the Republican nomination. The current field includes state Sen. Patrick Colbeck of Canton and Saginaw-area obstetrician Jim Hines.

Schuette had already built a $2.3 million war chest through late October, and allies have also formed a new super political action committee to support his run.

Democratic front-runner Gretchen Whitmer has raised $2.3 million since launching her campaign in January and had $1.5 million in the bank as of Oct. 20. Ann Arbor entrepreneur Shri Thanedar has committed nearly $6 million of his own money to the race as he seeks the Democratic nomination.

Pence’s PAC began cutting checks to Republican candidates last week as he works to help Republicans maintain control of Congress, state legislatures and governor offices.