Wednesday, July 28, 2010

State House Pre-Primary Filing Statements Analysis

(cross-posted at ML and BFM-pb)

As with the State Senate pre-primary filing statements, I’ve performed an analysis of the top fundraisers for the Michigan State House primary races. Again, for those interested in the complete set of financial data, you can request a subscription at

The top fifteen candidates in terms of money raised are listed in the link provided below:

Five of the top 15 fundraisers are incumbents, and five of the 15 are Democrats. Two of the top fundraisers are Mike Shirkley and Mark Ouimet, Republicans running in open swing seats (Districts 65th and 52nd) that the Democrats will be fighting to hold. It is interesting to note that of the top Democratic fundraisers, only one is from metropolitan Detroit (Rashida Tlaib District 12). If the Democrats remain in the majority (which I predict they will), I’d expect to see Scripps, Schmidt, and Tlaib in the running for leadership positions. In good news for the Democrats, Brandon Dillon, who is running for the 75th State House seat vacated by Robert Dean, raised a significant amount of money that leaves him with a comfortable cash on hand advantage for the general election.

The top 15 spenders are listed next (the second tab of the spreadsheet):

Once again, Republicans dominate this list, with self financers like Holly Hughes (District 91-Swing) and Jeff Oesterle (District 67-Safe DEM) repaying a large portion of their loans and thus leading the list. As with the State Senate list, many candidates with heavy spending are in competitive primaries.

Incumbents and candidates personally financing their campaigns dominate the list of candidates with the most cash on hand listed on the third tab of the spreadsheet:

11 of the 15 candidates with the greatest cash on hand advantage are incumbents, and nine of these are Democratic incumbents, three of whom are in swing Districts (Dian Slavens District 21, Sarah Roberts District 24, and Lisa Brown District 39). This financial edge is a heartening sign for continued Democratic control of the House.

Finally, Republicans hold all of the top 15 spots on the fourth spreadsheet listing candidates with the greatest amount of personal debt.

While money can’t buy victory, it sure can help in competitive seats like Districts 21, 52, and 91. As in some State Senate primaries, the candidates are literally locked in a spending arms race in the final weeks until August 3.

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