McMorrow announces $1M fundraising haul across four funds

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

State Sen. Mallory McMorrow announced Thursday that she's raised more than $1 million across four fundraising accounts in the months since she gave a viral speech on the chamber floor denouncing rhetoric from her Republican colleagues, an address that launched other speaking engagements and national media attention. 

McMorrow's campaign said it expects to report to the state Friday that she's fundraised nearly $500,000 for her candidate committee over the last three months.

The 35-year-old Royal Oak Democrat also has been fundraising for her leadership fund, A More Perfect Michigan, the Michigan Senate Democratic Fund and the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee for a total of more than $1 million raised over the last quarter, according to her campaign.

In a statement Thursday, McMorrow said the fundraising hauls will help in state Democrats' efforts to flip the Michigan Senate under new district maps that will be put to the test for the first time in November.

Mallory McMorrow, D-Royal Oak

"The Michigan Senate has been under GOP control longer than I've been alive," McMorrow said. "Michiganders are sick and tired of an extremist minority rigging the system to hold onto power. With fair maps that finally align with the makeup of the state, we're going to flip the Michigan Senate to give the power back to the people."

McMorrow is running for her second term in the Senate and will face off against her Democratic colleague, Sen. Marshall Bullock of Detroit, in the Aug. 2 primary.

McMorrow's viral April 19 speech came in response to a fundraising email from Sen. Lana Theis, R-Brighton, that claimed McMorrow and other Democrats were "outraged" that they couldn't "groom and sexualize kindergartners."

Theis was referencing pushback from Democratic senators in response to her invocation that said there were "forces that desire things" for children "other than what their parents would have them see and hear and know."

In her address April 19, McMorrow called out the rhetoric and spoke about her Christian upbringing and her desire that every Michigan child feel "seen, heard and supported."

"We cannot let hateful people tell you otherwise to scapegoat and deflect from the fact that they are not doing anything to fix the real issues that impact people's lives," McMorrow said. "And I know that hate will only win if people like me stand by and let it happen."

The speech, which McMorrow posted to Twitter, had been viewed 15.2 million times as of Thursday. McMorrow gave multiple national media interviews after the speech, received a phone call from President Joe Biden, testified before Congress last week on abortion rights, and has spoken at multiple Democratic events in recent weeks.

She'll be speaking at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding Aug. 12, according to an announcement for the fundraiser that called her the "breakout star of the Democratic Party."

Anthony Mercurio, a former finance director for Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg's presidential campaign, recently joined McMorrow's campaign team as fundraising adviser.

McMorrow's campaign said the $1 million total represents about 11,000 donors, with about 8,000 of those donors contributing to her candidate committee specifically. About 2,500 of those 8,000 are from the state of Michigan, according to the campaign. 

Some of the nearly $500,000 raised for McMorrow's candidate committee will be contributed to the Michigan Democratic Party since there are strict rules over how candidate committee funds are spent and it's unlikely McMorrow will need all of the funding for her re-election efforts.

Pre-primary campaign finance reports for candidates participating in the primary are due by 5 p.m. Friday. Quarterly campaign finance reports for political committees are due by 5 p.m. Monday.

Staff Writer Craig Mauger contributed.