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Northern Michigan Elections & Government

Running for First: Political fundraising battle rages in U.S. House race


Congressional candidates in northern Michigan have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars so far in 2016. Candidates in the 1st Congressional District have combined to raise $561,218 since January 1, according to data filed with the Federal Election Commission last week.

“When it comes to purely candidate fundraising, the 1st District led the way in the … first three months of 2016,” says Craig Mauger, the executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network.

Mauger says there were other congressional districts with higher fundraising totals, but those totals were skewed by candidates loaning themselves large sums of money.

Mauger discussed the political fundraising battle in northern Michigan with IPR News Radio earlier this week:

Lon Johnson, the former chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, led all candidates in fundraising in the 1st District. Johnson has raised $278,909 since January 1. His Democratic opponent, former Kalkaska County Sheriff Jerry Cannon, brought in $13,951.

Among Republicans, former state legislator Jason Allen took in $169,909, while state Sen. Tom Casperson raised $98,449. Campaign filing data for retired Marine Corps General Jack Bergman is not available yet.