July 26--Gov. Rick Snyder has a small lead in the polls and a large cash advantage over his Democratic rival Mark Schauer, according to campaign finance reports filed Friday with the Secretary of State.
Snyder reported raising $3.3 million so far this year, has spent $2.6 million and has $4,667,175 in cash available for the upcoming election, compared to $2.5 million in available cash for Schauer's campaign. Other than $38,241 from the Michigan Republican Party, all of Snyder's contributions came from individuals, continuing a tradition from his 2010 campaign of not accepting any money from political action committees.
Also left over from the 2010 campaign is a $5.1-million debt that Snyder kicked in to his first race for office.
"Resources matter and our overwhelming cash-on-hand advantage will allow us to communicate the governor's message of the creation of more than 250,000 new private sector jobs, the lowest unemployment rate in six years, four balanced budgets in four years, and the bipartisan coalition for Detroit's Grand Bargain," said Snyder's campaign spokeswoman Emily Benavides.
Schauer reported raising $1.8 million in contributions from PACs and individuals, in addition to receiving $990,000 in public financing for his campaign. He's spent $1,385,626 and has $2,491,403 in cash available for the upcoming election.
"It's clear Mark Schauer has all the momentum in this race," said Cathy Bacile Cunningham, spokeswoman for the Schauer campaign. "Rick Snyder is counting on his billionaire friends to smear Mark Schauer and bail out his struggling campaign, but no matter how hard he tries, Snyder can't hide his record of cutting education and raising taxes on seniors."
Schauer has reserved $3.2 million in television time in October, and Politico reported that the Democratic Governor's Association has reserved $6 million in TV ad time in October.
The doubling of contribution limits, passed by the Legislature last year, certainly helped the gubernatorial campaigns. More than 70 people contributed the new maximum of $6,800 to Snyder and many more exceeded the old limit of $3,400.
For Schauer's campaign, the Michigan Laborers PAC kicked in $68,000, while the Michigan Education Association donated $61,000 and the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters contributed $45,000. Other big donors to Schauer included the UAW, United Food and Commercial Workers and Michigan Association of Justice, which each gave $34,000.
Both Snyder and Schauer benefited from late contributions, given to the campaigns after the filing deadline. Snyder received $33,200 in a four-day period, while Schauer reported getting $17,500.
Schauer also qualified for and received $953,000 in public financing for his primary campaign because he promised to spend less than $2 million in the time leading up to the primary Aug. 5. If he stays to that $2-million ceiling for the general election, he could qualify for $1,125,000 in public financing for the general election.
In other key races:
-- In the 13th Senate District, former state Rep. Chuck Moss, R-Birmingham, has a money advantage over the other two front-runners in the race, former state Reps. Andrew (Rocky) Raczkowski, R-Troy and Marty Knollenberg, R-Troy. Moss reported $88,879 in cash left for the last 10 days of the campaign. Most of his money has come from his own pockets -- $65,000 in loans, and a transfer of money from his state House campaign fund.
Raczkowski raised $69,960 for his race, including $24,500 from sitting Republican senators, as well as putting $30,000 of his own money into the campaign. He reported $11,923 in available cash for the final primary push. Knollenberg reported raising $50,035, including $10,000 of his own money, and had $3,428 in available cash for the final push.
On the Democratic side, Birmingham attorney Ryan Fishman has raised $103,922 this year, including $65,847 of his own money and still has $74,277 for the final campaign push. And Clawson teacher Cyndi Peltonen raised $6,152 this year and has $351 left.
In the 5th Senate district, state Rep. David Knezek, D-Dearborn Heights, was swamping his opponents with $108,619 in contributions, including a $15,000 transfer from his state representative campaign fund and $6,000 of his own money. He reported having $25,154 for the final 10 days.
Of the other three front-runners, state Rep. David Nathan, D-Detroit, raised $33,650, including a $25,400 transfer from his state representative campaign account. He had only $115 left for the last days of the campaign. Neither state Rep. Shannelle Jackson nor Rep. Tom Stallworth, both Detroit Democrats, had filed reports as of 6:30 p.m. Friday.
In the 4th Senate district, one of the most competitive races in the state, incumbent state Sen. Virgil Smith, D-Detroit, and state Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, are raising impressive sums. In her pre-primary report, Tlaib showed $120,145 in contributions, mostly from individuals, while Smith raised $79,643, with $59,000 of that coming from political action committees.
Their available cash for the final push of the campaign is relatively even with Tlaib reporting $28,752 and Smith with $21,620.
In the 2nd Senate district, state Sen. Bert Johnson reported raising $48,750 this year and still had $7,588 for the last 10 days of the campaign. State Rep. John Olumba, D-Detroit, who is one of three Democrats trying to unseat Johnson, filed a waiver saying he didn't expect to raise or spend more than $1,000.
Contact Kathleen Gray: 517-372-8661, email@example.com or on Twitter @michpoligal.
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