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Republican Senate challenger John James raised $1 million more than U.S. Sen. Gary Peters in the last quarter, but Michigan's Democratic incumbent maintained an overall cash advantage, according to campaign statements.

James, the Farmington Hills businessman who lost to Democratic U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow by a smaller-than-expected 6.5 percentage points in 2018, has raised nearly $8 million since last summer. But the Peters campaign announced that it raised more than $9.3 million since early last year and has more than $8 million in the bank.

James is off to a much better fundraising performance this cycle than in 2018, when Stabenow, D-Lansing, raised $17.9 million to the then political newcomer's $12.5 million, according to Federal Election Commission records.

"These numbers demonstrate the excitement and enthusiasm for John’s campaign for U.S. Senate," said Abby Walls, a James campaign spokeswoman. “People are tired of the same do-nothing leadership in Congress, year after year. John’s biography proves that he’s the man to get the job done for Michigan. Voters are not wasting any time in backing John’s campaign."

Peters has $8 million cash on hand, a record for a Michigan U.S. Senate race heading into an election year, his campaign said.

"As this campaign continues to break records, it’s clear that Michiganders still want effective leaders who get things done," Peters said in a statement. "From securing a record funding increase for the Great Lakes to expanding skills training and apprenticeship programs and working to lower prescription drug costs, I’ll always be focused on delivering results for Michigan."

James’ campaign declined to say what his cash-on-hand total was, but the amount of money remaining will become known when James' campaign files its finance report, which won't be available until Jan. 31. 

Peters first won his seat in the U.S. Senate in 2014 with 54% of the vote, defeating Republican former Secretary of State Terry Lynn Land. In that GOP wave election when Republicans seized control of the Senate, Peters was the only non-incumbent Democratic to emerge victorious.

In 2020, Peters will be one of two Democratic U.S. senators running for re-election in states that President Donald Trump won in 2016. The other is Alabama U.S. Doug Jones.

Staff writers Craig Mauger and Beth LeBlanc contributed

lfleming@detroitnews.com

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Twitter:@leonardnfleming

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