by Scott McClallen
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s 2022 campaign funds have grown to about $12.6 million after raking in $3.1 million between July 21 and Oct. 20.
The Democratic governor has continued claiming an exemption to accept contributions above the state-imposed limit of $7,150 from an individual throughout the entire election cycle. Whitmer’s campaign says it can do this, citing a loophole by which donors may exceed campaign funding limits if their candidate of choice is facing a recall election. Despite several past recalls against the governor over the past three years, none are currently active.
The GOP has challenged this strategy in court, where an Oct. 13 court filing suggests roughly $3.4 million in excess donations must be returned or given to a charity since no recalls are active. New large contributions include Whitmer’s father, Richard Whitmer ($40,000), billionaire George Soros ($25,000), and Vice-Chair of the Detroit Pistons Arn Tellem ($25,000).
Gustavo Portela, communications director of the Michigan Republican Party, criticized Whitmer’s excess contributions.
The actual contribution limits only apply to candidates not named Gretchen Whitmer,” Portela tweeted. “Because the rules don’t apply to her.”
GOP challengers are also gearing up.
Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig reported just over $1.4 million in donations with approximately $460,000 in expenses and about $1 million in the bank. Craig formed his committee to run for governor on July 21 and is new to politics.
“I’m humbled and honored at the outpouring of support we are seeing from Michiganders across this state,” Craig said in a Monday statement. “Whitmer and the Democrats will be well financed by the permanent Washington political class and coastal elites, but our message of personal liberty and leading from the front is resonating with Michiganders.
Conservative commentator Tudor Dixon of Norton Shores reported raising $215,115 since July 20. She’s brought in about $347,651 in all.
One of Dixon’s top donors include manufacturer DFM Solutions CEO Lauren Rakolta, who gave $7,150. In a press release, Dixon’s campaign said a newly formed super political action committee (super PAC) supporting her received $200,000 from Kim Van Kampen, owner of Hampton Green Farm.
Garret Soldano, a chiropractor from Mattawan, raised $495,979 in the third quarter and $1.1 million in total. Soldano has $473,615 in cash on hand.
The candidates will face off next year.
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Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.
Photo “Gretchen Whitmer” by Gretchen Whitmer, photo “James Craig” by City of Detroit and photo “Michigan Capitol” CC BY-SA 3.0.