LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette reported Wednesday that he raised $1.2 million over three months and had $2.3 million to spend on his run for governor, the most of any candidate except self-funding Democrat Shri Thanedar.
Schuette, who is considered the GOP front-runner, took in $705,000 since entering the race in September, according to his campaign. He also collected $510,000 for his attorney general campaign account that can be used on the gubernatorial bid.
Former legislative leader Gretchen Whitmer, the favorite in the Democratic field, raised $768,000 in the quarter and had $1.5 million in cash as of last week. Democrat Abdul El-Sayed, Detroit’s former health director, took in $612,000 and had $903,000 in the bank. Thanedar, a businessman whose campaign is almost entirely self-funded, disclosed Tuesday that he had nearly $5.7 million.
Second-term Republican Gov. Rick Snyder cannot run again in 2018 due to term limits. Wednesday was the latest campaign-finance deadline for state candidates, ballot initiative groups and political action committees.
Other GOP gubernatorial candidates include Dr. Jim Hines, who gave his campaign $75,000, bringing his total self-funding to $513,000, and state Sen. Patrick Colbeck, whose finance report was not available. Hines had $100,000 on hand.
Schuette spokeswoman Bridge Bush said he was proud of the “wide support” for his agenda.
Whitmer spokeswoman Annie Ellison, emphasizing her support from in-state, lower-dollar donors, said Whiter was “proud of the unprecedented local grassroots coalition behind this campaign.”
El-Sayed said his campaign is “entirely driven by grassroots donations from real people” and not “corporate PAC bribes.” A preliminary analysis showed that more than 80 percent of Whitmer’s contributions came from Michigan donors, while about two-thirds of El-Sayed’s donations were from outside the state.
Another Democrat who has appeared at candidate forums and other events, former Xerox executive Bill Cobbs, spent most of the $70,000 he had given his campaign.
Voters will choose the Democratic and Republican gubernatorial nominees in the August primary election, and the winner will face off in November 2018. Party activists will choose their attorney general and secretary of state candidates in nominating conventions next summer.
In the AG race, Democrats Pat Miles — a former federal prosecutor — and civil rights attorney Dana Nessel raised $190,000 and $150,000 respectively. Republican state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker raised $288,000, which includes a transfer from her Senate account. GOP House Speaker Tom Leonard raised $236,000, which also includes a fund transfer. He still has $150,000 in his House campaign account he could use.
Democratic secretary of state candidate Jocelyn Benson took in $252,000. On the GOP side, Stan Grot raised $102,000 since April and Mary Treder collected nearly $29,000. Another Republican, Joseph Guzman, raised $4,000.
Ballot committees that collected hundreds of thousands of dollars each over the last three months include initiatives to raise the minimum wage, require paid sick time, make the Legislature part-time, legalize marijuana for recreational use and repeal a law that requires higher “prevailing” wages on state-financed construction projects. The groups must collect hundreds of thousands of voter signatures to qualify for the 2018 ballot.