Michigan House, Senate Democrats raise more cash than Republican foes

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

Lansing — The Michigan House and Senate Democratic caucuses raised more money than their Republican counterparts last quarter, pulling in about $2 million between the two Democratic groups as they seek to flip the GOP House and Senate majorities in November. 

Despite the higher totals last quarter, both Democratic legislative caucuses remain millions of dollars behind House and Senate Republicans when it comes to cash on hand.

The Michigan Senate Democratic Fund pulled in nearly $1.1 million between the reporting period of April 21 and July 20, bringing the caucus' cash on hand total to about $2.9 million. 

The Michigan House Democratic Fund raised about $907,000, which outstripped last quarter's total by about $135,000. The donations brought the House Democrat Fund balance up to $2.7 million as the caucus seeks to retake the House majority under newly drawn, more competitive districts. 

“We’ve seen an outpouring of support from nearly 1,000 grassroots supporters all across the state who are chipping in whatever they can to build a Democratic majority in Lansing," said House Democratic Leader Donna Lasinski, D-Scio Township. 

House Democrats noted their total came during the same period when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the abortion legalization decision known as Roe v. Wade and as Michigan leaders are locked in a court battle over the future of abortion rights in the state.

“They know that state legislatures are now the last line of defense, and we absolutely need a Democratic majority in the Senate to protect the rights we hold dear," said Sen. Winnie Brinks, the Grand Rapids Democrat who serves as finance co-chair for the caucus fundraising arm. 

Both Democratic caucuses also noted their candidates are leading their Republican challengers in individual fundraising efforts in key races across the state. 

"Majority is firmly in reach, and candidates from Monroe to Marquette are putting in the work to win in November,” said Rep. Angela Witwer, the Delta Township Democrat who serves as campaign chair for the House Democratic Fund. 

The House Republican Campaign Committee raised about $797,000, a reported record total, and have about $4.9 million on hand — more than $2 million more than House Democrats. 

“From the U.P. to downriver and everywhere in between, we will have an incredible slate ready to hit the ground running after the primary next week," said Rep. Sarah Lightner, co-chair for the House Republican Campaign Committee. 

The Senate Republican Campaign Committee raised about $720,500 and has $6.7 million on hand, nearly $4 million more than the balance reported by Senate Democrats.

eleblanc@detroitnews.com