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Dem Leadership PACs Raise Nearly Twice as Much as GOP PACs

August 1, 2023

Article courtesy MIRS News for SBAM’s Lansing Watchdog e-newsletter

Democratic senators and representatives with independent political action committees (PACs) raised more than $612,103 altogether from April 21 through July 20. Meanwhile, Republican PAC holders in the legislature raised $333,187. A searchable spreadsheet of the legislative-related PACs can be found here.

PACs, which allow legislators to contribute to other races and to develop influence within their parties, have historically played important roles in elections. This next cycle, Republicans aim to regain control of the state House while Democrats collectively try to defend and grow their Democratic trifecta in Michigan.

On Tuesday, the House Republican Campaign Committee (HRCC) celebrated raising more than $1 million during the July Quarterly for campaign finance in Michigan. Meanwhile, the Michigan House Democratic Fund raised its own caucus-record of $926,000. After July 20, the HRCC has $2.3 million in cash on hand and its Democratic counterpart has an ending balance of $1.74 million.

Among the 29 PACs affiliated with 24 different Democratic House members, there’s $319,846 in cash on hand. Meanwhile, of the 34 House PACs, overseen by incumbent Republican representatives, there’s $205,339 in cash on hand.

In the Senate, 17 PACs linked to 14 different Democrats raised $270,078 during the July Quarterly and have $359,245.73 in cash on hand. As for Senate Republicans, there are 17 PACS connected to 14 different legislators that raised $138,480 in the recent campaign finance period and have $187,267.75 in cash on hand.

PACs affiliated with the House Speaker Joe Tate (D-Detroit) collected the most contributions from April 21 through July 20, raising $160,617 between his MI Forward Fund and the Joe Tate Leadership PAC. Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak) followed, with $70,480.79 raised between her A More Perfect Michigan and Hate Won’t Win PACs.

The House Appropriations Chair Angela Witwer (D-Lansing) followed after accepting $53,800 in contributions in the July Quarterly.

When it comes to legislative leaders outside of Tate, who left the July Quarterly with $22,590 leftover in his two PACs, the Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) raised $31,500 in her Brinks for Michigan PAC and – after raising $102,457 for the overall year and ultimately spending $152,184.80 – has $4,402.88 in cash on hand.

Senate Minority Leader Aric Nesbitt (R-Lawton) raised $49,425 during the July Quarterly across his four PACs, Defending Michigan Values, Nesbitt For Michigan, Nesbitt Majority Fund and Nesbitt Majority Fund 2. Altogether, the four PACs have $47,192.27 in cash on hand.

House Minority Leader Matt Hall (R-Kalamazoo) raised $9,250 in the recent campaign finance period between his two PACs, Matt Hall Majority Fund and Friends of Matt Hall, and has $5,133.79 in leftover PAC money.

Other successful Republicans for the July Quarterly consisted of Rep. Bill G. Schuette (R-Midland) with his Schuette Majority Fund, which accepted $44,526 in contributions during the period and has $16,204 leftover.

Rep. Curtis VanderWall (R-Ludington) accepted $26,516 in July Quarterly contributions between his Michigan Majority Leadership Fund PAC and the VanderWall Majority Fund. The two VanderWall PACs have $4,615 leftover after July 20.

Sen. Jim Runestad (R-White Lake) moreover, raised $23,125 in his Run Michigan Right Fund in the quarterly, and has $50,253.25 in leftover PAC money.

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