Candidate Fundraising Reports Reveal Top Stories About 2022 Michigan Elections

This was “the most politically consequential campaign finance deadline in Michigan in awhile,” according to Detroit News reporter Craig Mauger.

New candidate fundraising and spending reports may be some of the most consequential campaign finance filings that the state has seen in a long time.

As part of the weekly series MichMash, WDET’s Jake Neher and Slate’s Cheyna Roth talks with Craig Mauger of The Detroit News to unpack the financial dealings of candidates and politicians.

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This was “the most politically consequential campaign finance deadline in Michigan in awhile,” Mauger said on Twitter ahead of the release of the campaign finance reports on Oct. 25. And, he said, the results didn’t disappoint.

“One of the biggest stories was definitely Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s campaign finance haul,” Mauger says. “She raised over $3 million over the last three months, which is a huge amount of money.”

Under normal circumstances, the amount that Whitmer was able to raise exceeds state laws governing campaign finance contribution limits. But, because the governor says she is combating a recall effort, a ruling from the 1980s, Whitmer’s people contend, allows her to raise money above and beyond the usual limits.

The other big story comes from the Republican primary race for governor, Mauger says. On money alone, former Detroit Police Chief James Craig is the front-runner in a crowded race to take on Whitmer next November. While Craig didn’t raise as much money has some hoped he would, he still raised a lot — $1.4 million — which is more than other candidates like Tudor Dixon and Garrett Soldano.

It’s that race for GOP nominee that led Mauger to say this is the most consequential deadline in awhile.

“We have a crop of a bunch of candidates on the Republican side running for governor, running for attorney general, running for secretary of state. They’re all stating their claim that they want to be the GOP nominee,” Mauger says.

“We don’t know how viable a lot of their campaigns are. This campaign finance filing provides a lot of insight into where these candidates are, who’s supporting them, how donors view them, are they able to get a large grassroots amount of support? It just provides a level of insight into these campaigns that we don’t normally get,” he says.

Mauger also discusses his experience being kicked off of a recent Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission meeting, which controversially went into a closed session, as well as the importance of Tuesday’s local elections across Michigan.

More from MichMash:

It’s Time to Tell Michigan’s Redistricting Commission What You Think of Their Draft Maps

Infrastructure and Reconciliation Bills Could Have Big Impact on Electric Vehicles in Michigan

Benton Harbor’s Water Crisis Finally Starting to Get More Attention After Three Years

Biden Stays Silent on Line 5 as Efforts to Shut It Down Become More Complicated

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  • Cheyna Roth
    Cheyna has interned with Michigan Radio and freelanced for WKAR public radio in Lansing. She's also done some online freelancing and worked on documentary films.
  • Jake Neher
    Jake Neher is senior producer for Detroit Today and host of MichMash for 101.9 WDET. He previously reported on the Michigan Legislature for the Michigan Public Radio Network.