When Paul DeWeese decided to jump back into a state legislative race, he said he expected rough sledding on the fundraising front due to his recent scrape with the feds.
So when it came to the former physician raising money for his campaign, he opened up his wallet to the tune of $74,650, slightly more than the $71,685 a state legislator makes a year.
The former Republican lawmaker from Williamston, now running as a Democrat in Lansing, said he knows that money in politics typically generates success. Legislative candidates who spend the most money tend to win, according to the Michigan Campaign Finance Network.
“I know I wasn’t the favored candidate going in and that it was going to be tough to win external money,” DeWeese said. “In some way, I knew that people wouldn’t be able to support my campaign unless they knew I was all in and believe I’m dedicated.”
Candidates for the Ingham County Board of Commissioners raised nearly $120,000 this cycle. See story at www.lansingcitypulse.com.
With his personal contribution, DeWeese raised more in 2018 for a House race than all but four other state legislative candidates across all 110 House districts, according to MIRS’ review.
Meanwhile, his 68 th House District primary opponent, Sarah Anthony, was feeling glum she hadn’t raised more than $65,547 at this point in the campaign, considering the prior officeholder, Andy Schor, had raised $78,116 by this point in 2012.
But put into perspective, Anthony’s $56,629 raised for the Jan. 1-July 22 period is the 18 th highest fundraiser for the period out of all 437 state House candidates.
Anthony was able to score $5,000 from the Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 333, $2,500 from the Lansing Regional Chamber political action committee (PAC), $2,500 from the UAW and $1,500 from the Realtors, among 344 total contributions.
Michigan Democratic Party Progressive Caucus Chairwoman Kelly Collison raised $14,603, all from personal donations within the progressive movement, including gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed and likely Democratic attorney general nominee Dana Nessel.
El-Sayed’s donation is the only one he’s given to a legislative candidate, according to campaign finance records.
The other three Democratic candidates in the 68 District raised around $1,000 or less.
Next door in the 69 th House District, Meridian Township Treasurer Julie Brixie hit her goal of $100,000 for the cycle, having kicked in $10,000 of her own money.
Brixie received $2,500 from the Michigan Farm Bureau, $2,000 from the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and $2,000 from the Lansing Chamber.
But her most meaningful donation she’s received to date has come from a Grange Acres resident who is auto-paying Brixie $10 a month because that was the increase in her Social Security check. So far, Phyllis Vaughn, who has donated Brixie a combined $70.
“When you have that type of experience, it’s just very humbling,” Brixie said.
Meanwhile, Brixie’s Democratic primary opponent, Penelope Tsneroglou, hit $80,000 in fundraising, of which more than half was a personal donation. Tsneroglou received donations from retired Ingham County Circuit Judge James Giddings and attorney Andrew Abood.
Tsneroglou took pride in not taking money from “corporate PACs or organization who don’t line up with my views.” The amount is short of the $130,000 Sam Singh raised and the $95,000 Susan Schmidt raised at this point in their competitive 2012 primary.
The race’s third Democratic, Teri Banas, is in for about $14,000. She’s raised about $26,000 total. Her last report revealed 133 contributions.
In the south Lansing/rural Ingham County-based 67 th House District, Ingham County Commissioner Kara Hope is blowing out her Democratic primary opponents with her $48,419 raised. Max Donovan, Alec Findlay, Brent Domann and Derek Stephens, combined, have managed to raise about $5,000.
Republican Leon Clark has raised $13,313. His primary opponent, Clyde Thomas, hasn’t gotten around to filing his report, which was due Friday.
Over in Delta Township and Eaton County, Democrat Angela Witwer, the Waverly School Board vice chairwoman, has a $53,692 to $13,927 fundraising advantage over Beth Bowen, a favorite of some area progressives in that primary Among Republicans, well-known Wheatland Golf Course owner Chuck Cascarilla is up $53,600 to $27,149 over Eaton County planning commissioner Christine Barnes. The only other candidate raising money, Republican Chris Stewart, is reporting $27,149.
In Clinton County, former Assistant Attorney General Graham Filler is up $61,278 to Madhu Anderson’s $47,742 in the 93 rd House District GOP primary. Former county commissioner Anne Hill is at $24,604.