Insider: Garrett Soldano says he's raised more than $600K for governor

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Garrett Soldano, the Mattawan chiropractor and anti-lockdown activist who's vying for the Republican nomination for governor, says he's raised $600,000 since launching his campaign in April.

On Monday, Michigan candidates have to file their first fundraising disclosures covering 2021. Soldano announced his total early in a press release Wednesday, saying he had collected more than 10,000 contributions with 94% of them being less than $200.

"We're humbled by the vast support we've received from so many Michiganders," Soldano said in a statement. "The party bosses think they get to decide who the next Republican nominee for Governor will be, but they're wrong — that's up to We the People."

Garrett Soldano is seeking the Republican nomination for governor.

He's one of eight Republican candidates who've formed committees to challenge Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2022. Whitmer's campaign revealed this week that it's raised $8.5 million so far this year with $10 million available to spend at the end of the fundraising period, which was Tuesday.

Republican James Craig, the former Detroit police chief, won't have to file a fundraising report Monday because he formed his committee after the disclosure period ended.

However, political observers will be watching closely to see totals posted by others in the race, including conservative commentator Tudor Dixon of Norton Shores.

Dixon's campaign has revealed in recent weeks that its staff includes Susie Wiles, a political adviser to former President Donald Trump, and Charlie Spies, a well-known Republican attorney who previously worked for former U.S. Senate candidate John James.

In other fundraising news, the campaign of Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, said her reelection effort has collected more than $600,000 this year, and the campaign of Attorney General Dana Nessel, another Democrat, said she's brought in $1.1 million.

DeVos for governor?

Dick DeVos, a billionaire businessman and former Republican candidate for Michigan governor, weighed in Friday on the idea of his wife, former U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, running for the state's top job.

During an appearance on the "Michigan Big Show," hosted by Michael Patrick Shiels, Dick was asked about the possibility of Betsy seeking the GOP nomination.

"She'd make a fantastic governor, actually," Dick responded. "The question is if she's interested in being the governor. That's a question you'd have to ask her some day."

Former U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

Some Michigan Republicans have been floating the idea of Betsy DeVos pursuing the GOP nomination to challenge Whitmer in 2022. She would bring a well-known name and the ability to self-fund her campaign. But her education policies have also garnered many detractors, some of whom would be happy to run against her.

"Betsy DeVos is in for a rude awakening if she thinks her horrible record on public education stands a chance against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer," the Democratic Governors Association tweeted earlier this month.

Wood: Didn't 'broadcast' court hearing

Georgia attorney Lin Wood, who was involved in the case to overturn Michigan's election for former President Donald Trump, argued Thursday that he shouldn't be disciplined for sharing a recording of a court hearing online.

It's against the rules of Michigan's Eastern District to "broadcast" court proceedings. However, Wood's lawyer Paul Stablein contended that his client had simply shared a link to a video that someone else made of Sidney Powell's comments in a hearing on potential sanctions.

"Mr. Wood did not broadcast the proceeding," Stablein wrote. "He was told, through a post from another entity, that a recording existed. He did not make it, he did not authorize its making and he did not acquire himself a copy of it."

U.S. District Judge Linda Parker had asked Wood to explain why he shouldn't be penalized for the social media post that came after a July 12 hearing.

Parker is currently weighing whether to impose sanctions, including financial penalties and potential disbarment, on nine attorneys who brought the case to reverse Michigan's election based on conspiracy theories and unsubstantiated claims in November.

cmauger@detroitnews.com