Stevens, Slotkin set the pace for Michigan congressional fundraising

By: - July 16, 2019 3:49 pm

Reps. Elissa Slotkin (left) and Haley Stevens (right) | Andrew Roth photos

Updated 6:39 p.m., 6:42 p.m.

U.S. Reps. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) and Haley Stevens (D-Rochester) led the state’s congressional delegation in fundraising for the past quarter, each raking in more than $730,000 over the three-month period.

Slotkin and Stevens, both of whom flipped their districts from red to blue in 2018 — and neither of whom have attracted Republican challengers so far — built on already-impressive first-quarter fundraising performances to bring their overall receipts to roughly $1.3 million each.

In a statement, Stevens, who represents the 11th District in Southeast Michigan, cited an “incredible outpouring of grassroots support.” Slotkin said in a statement that she was “blown away by the support we have received from communities across the 8th District.” Slotkin has pledged not to accept money from political action committees (PACs) directly associated with corporations.

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The nonprofit Michigan Campaign Finance Network (MCFN) reported Tuesday that roughly 65% of Stevens’ donations and 76% of Slotkin’s funds came from individual donors. 

Individual donations have become a litmus test for politicians eager to prove their independence from wealthy donors in both major parties, That includes Republican U.S. senatorial candidate John James, who, according to the MCFN, raised $1.3 million, almost his entire haul, from individual donors, despite announcing his candidacy just more than a month ago.

James’ opponent, incumbent freshman U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.), raised a total of around $2.4 million during the second quarter, and reported having almost $5 million on hand at the end of the reporting period.

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In Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District in West Michigan, where newly independent U.S. Rep. Justin Amash of Cascade Township will face 2020 challengers in both parties for the seat he’s held for almost a decade, the incumbent raised roughly $177,000 from April to June. 

That’s slightly less than Republican primary candidate and state Rep. James Lower (R-Greenville), who brought in just over $200,000. Lagging both is Democrat Nick Colvin, a former President Obama aide who brought in slightly more than $120,000 since announcing his candidacy in June.

Two other high-profile candidates in the district, Republican grocery store heir and Army veteran Peter Meijer, and Democratic immigration attorney Hillary Scholten, announced their candidacies after the Federal Election Commission (FEC)’s June 30 filing deadline. Scholten issued a statement Tuesday saying that her campaign raised $100,000 in just its first week.*

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In another potentially competitive race, state Rep. Jon Hoadley (D-Kalamazoo) brought in more than $310,000 in his first fundraising quarter since announcing a challenge to longtime incumbent U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) in April. Upton, who represents the 6th District in Southwest Michigan, reported just over $360,000 in fundraising for the period.

Across the rest of the state, freshman U.S. Rep. Andy Levin (D-Bloomfield Twp.) raised almost $130,000 in the 9th District in Southeast Michigan, which is a massive increase from his around $19,000 in first-quarter receipts. 

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit), whose only serious challenge would come in a Democratic primary for the 13th District, raised more than $300,000 through the quarter. 

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On the Republican side, U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Tipton), whose 7th District in South-central Michigan leans Republican by 7 points, according to the Cook Partisan Voting Index, raised roughly $340,000, despite not yet drawing a major Democratic challenger. 

U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet), who easily won his first re-election in the northern Michigan 1st District in 2018, raised around $205,000 over the past three months.*

* This story was updated to accurately reflect Rep. Bergman’s fundraising total and with information about Scholten’s fundraising.

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Derek Robertson
Derek Robertson

Derek Robertson is a former reporter for the Advance. Previously, he wrote for Politico Magazine in Washington. He is a Genesee County native and graduate of both Wayne State University, where he studied history, and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.