Saturday, July 24, 2010

State House and State Senate candidates Pre-Primary filing statements and some predictions

(Updated Monday July 26, 2010 8am)

Representative Dean's financial statement was released on Sunday July 25. Dean raised $30,271, spent $22,779, and has $3,031 cash on hand. The campaign has debts of $24,969, a loan which Dean gave to the campaign on January 29, 2010. Dean has a total of 22 donors, and in addition to his loan he contributed another $3,500 to the campaign. So, essentially, Dean's donors have given him a grand total of $2,500.


While I have much more information on my subscription only database, I figured that folks at West Michigan Rising might appreciate some basic information about a couple of races of interest. Again, for those interested, you can request a subscription at peterbratt@gmail.com.

20th State Senate District

First, in the 20th State Senate District there is a lot of money being thrown around. Lorence Wenke raised $317,260, spent $211,476 and has $125,125 cash on hand. Much of this money came from Wenke's own pocket, as he has loaned himself $365,000. Wenke is followed by Tonya Schuitmaker who raised $126,464, spent $146,767, and has $106,085 in cash on hand. Like Wenke, Schuitmaker has spent a large amount of her own money, providing herself with $100,000 in a personal loan. Schuitmaker and Wenke are both from different sides of the Republican tent-Wenke is an unabashed socially liberal Republican, while Schuitmaker has lined up support from conservative loyalists in the 20th District despite her inferior geographic position (being from Van Buren County rather than Kalamazoo). The third candidate in the GOP primary, moderate Larry DeShazor, has raised $34,141, spent $30,809, and has $3,331 cash on hand, with personal loans of $19,804. While many consider DeShazor to be the strongest general election candidate the GOP could run, his poor fund raising is likely to hinder him in this free spending primary. For what it is worth, I'm predicting Schuitmaker to win on August 3.

On the Democratic side, Mark Totten has again substantially out raised Representative Robert Jones. Totten raised $65,942, spent $112,928, and has $73,100 in cash on hand, with a personal loan of $32,704. In contrast, Jones raised $49,770, spent $40,639, has $9,131 in cash on hand, and has a personal loan of $10, 377. While Ballenger is calling this race for Jones, I think Totten is going to pull this one out.

29th State Senate District

In the other big west Michigan primary, the 29th State Senate district has five candidates, three Republicans and two Democrats. on the Republican side, State Representative David Hildenbrand raised $100,307, spent $68,170 and has $170,192 in cash on hand. Hildenbrand's opponent Lori Wiersma raised $48,239, spent $39,237, and has $8,991 in cash on hand (and a personal loan of $1,750). While Wiersma is a stronger general election candidate for the GOP as she hails from Grand Rapids and is more moderate, it is hard to beat someone who has such a sizable financial edge that the GOP Representative from Lowell does. The third GOP candidate Judith Faye Kapteyn did not file a statement.

On the Democratic side, David LaGrand raised an enormous sum of $116,938. LaGrand spent $64,739, and has $52,198 in cash on hand. LaGrand's opponent Representative Robert Dean did not submit a statement as of 9am Saturday morning. Given all the turmoil in the Dean campaign and that Dean's campaign treasurer is Noah Seifullah, who remains on the Dean campaign despite resigning in disgrace as Dean's chief of staff, the delay in a filing statement is somewhat expected. Regardless of Dean's financial haul, I expect him to be a serious disadvantage to LaGrand on August 3 (a prediction will come later next week).

State House Districts

In the state house races, there are few things to note. First, Democratic Representative Roy Schmidt raised a lot of money, pulling in $57,748, spending $15,699, and has $82,317 in cash on hand. Not bad for running against an GOP candidate who filed a financial waiver promising not to raise more than $1,000. There isn't much more news in any other race than in the 75th District.

75th State House District

This seat, which covers eastern Grand Rapids, features a bitter Republican primary between Bing Goei and Jordan Bush. Goei, who is generally viewed as the moderate, raised $44,256, spent $41,729, and has $2,527 in cash on hand. Goei also took out a personal loan of $10,000. Bush raised $19,490, spent $23,950, and has $2,965 in cash on hand (and a $8,880 personal loan). Given Goei's connections and endorsements by the GOP establishment, he was expected to raise substantial amounts of money, but this has not quiet panned out. Bush remains in contention, and I view the race as a toss up with 10 days to go.

Waiting for either Republican candidate is Democratic County Commissioner Brandon Dillon. Dillon nearly bested Roy Schmidt in the fund raising race, pulling in $51,281, while spending only $11,816 and has $39,465 in cash on hand. Dillon isn't napping as he waits for an opponent.

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