Democrats Haul in More Money than GOP in Michigan Races

Incumbents maintain strong bank accounts despite lower third quarter marks

Republican Rep. Mike Bishop of Michigan brought in less money than Democratic challenger Suzanna Shkreli in the third quarter, but he's got lots more in the bank. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic candidates raised more money than Republicans in the third quarter in congressional races in Michigan, according to a recent analysis. 

However, these fundraising efforts do not come close to the stockpiles of cash the GOP incumbents have on hand, Craig Mauger of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network told The Detroit News. 

[Roll Call's 2016 Election Guide: House]

Political newcomer Democrat Suzanna Shkreli raised $411,000 in the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30, compared to the $166,000 that 8th District Republican incumbent Rep. Mike Bishop pulled in. 

But Bishop has more than cash on hand: $900,000 to Shkreli's $150,000. 

Shkreli joined the race late after actress Melissa Gilbert dropped out due to health reasons. Her third quarter donations came mainly from individual contributions. 

“I am honored by the broad grassroots support that our campaign has received, which has given us the resources we need to communicate our message of taking on the tough fights in Washington on behalf of Michigan’s middle-class families,” Shkreli said in a statement.

The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rates the race as Safe Republican.

The state's most expensive race is in the 1st District where Democrat Lon Johnson has hauled in more money than Republican Jack Bergman.

The two are running for the open seat of GOP Rep. Dan Benishek, who is retiring after three terms. 

[Benishek's District Competitive Before and After Retirement]

Johnson brought in $455,000 and Bergman totaled $384,000, which includes $83,000 that he loaned his campaign. However, both candidates are being outspent by outside groups running large TV ad campaigns. 

Mauger said outside groups have spent $2 million on the Tilts Republican race. 

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and House Majority PAC have spent more than $927,000 against Bergman, FEC filings show. The National Republican Congressional Committee have reported spending $1.9 million opposing Johnson.

In Michigan's 7th District, Democratic state rep. Gretchen Driskell outraised GOP incumbent Rep. Tim Walberg $565,000 to $512,000 in the third quarter. And in the 11th District, Democrat Anil Kumar raked in $370,000 (including a $200,000 personal loan) in his race against Republican Rep. Dave Trott, who reported $148,000. 

Both Walberg and Trott had more money in the bank than their Democratic challengers. Walberg's race is rated Leans Republican while Trott's is considered a Safe Republican contest. 

Democrats need 30 seats to win back control of the House. 

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