Michigan Gov. Whitmer raises record $8.5M for reelection campaign in 7 months

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (State of Michigan)

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s reelection campaign said Tuesday that it has raised $8.5 million this year, the most for any gubernatorial candidate in a non-election year in Michigan history.

The Democrat has collected more than $14 million this cycle, already surpassing the $13.3 million she raised for her 2018 run and with 15 1/2 months left until Election Day. Her committee has more than $10 million on hand, well above what her predecessor, Rick Snyder, had entering 2014 when he won reelection.

Whitmer “has led Michigan through the greatest public health crisis in a century and this report is a testament to the enormous trust people have in her ability to put Michigan first and continue leading our state forward, creating jobs and getting our economy moving again,” campaign spokesman Mark Fisk said in a statement.

Specifics on donations and expenses will be made public next Monday, the due date for campaign-finance reports. The campaign said more than 10,000 new donors gave money between Jan. 1 and Tuesday, the close of the reporting period.

Michigan is a swing state. No first-term governor has lost in nearly 60 years. But midterm elections typically benefit the party opposite the president. Whitmer will be the first incumbent to seek reelection at the same time her party controls the White House in 48 years.

Seven lesser-known Republicans have created gubernatorial campaign committees: Army veteran Austin Chenge of Grand Rapids; Bob Scott of Howell; Ryan Kelley, a real estate broker from Ottawa County’s Allendale Township who organized protests against the governor's coronavirus restrictions; pastor Ralph Rebandt II of Oakland County; Kalamazoo chiropractor and lockdown opponent Garrett Soldano; conservative host Tudor Dixon of Norton Shores; and Articia Bomer of Detroit.

Ex-Detroit police chief James Craig, whom party figures see as a serious contender, will soon declare his candidacy.

To qualify for the August 2022 primary, major party candidates for governor must file at least 15,000 valid voter signatures, including at least 100 each from half of Michigan’s 14 congressional districts.

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