Amash faces Dem, GOP candidates who outraised him last quarter

U.S. Rep. Justin Amash town hall in Grand Rapids, March 18, 2019 | Nick Manes

The 2020 race for the 3rd Congressional District seat in West Michigan has perhaps been the most active this year, and multiple candidates have reported raising six-figures last quarter. 

U.S. Rep. Justin Amash of Cascade Township earned some GOP challengers this spring when he became the only Republican to endorse an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. His July 4 departure from the Republican Party put the race firmly in the national spotlight, and he’s now the only independent in Congress. There’s also been speculation that he could seek the Libertarian nomination for president.

Amash makes impeachment calls bipartisan. Will his GOP colleagues follow suit?

In the third quarter from July 1 to Sept. 30, Amash reported $158,268 in total receipts and $273,447 cash on hand, according to Federal Election Commission data. That puts him at a total of $444,248 for this cycle. 

He’s facing several potential challengers, many of whom outraised him in the most recent quarter.

Democrat Hillary Scholten announcing her campaign for the 3rd Congressional District, June 8, 2019 | Nick Manes

Immigration attorney Hillary Scholten, a Democrat, raised $233,708 last period. She had $164,850 in the bank. Scholten first announced in July. Democrat Nick Colvin took in $124,932 in the third quarter and $246,193 this election cycle. He has $136,324 left. 

On the GOP side, businessman and veteran Peter Meijer, reported raising $410,149 since announcing his campaign in July. He left the third quarter with $342,901. A chunk of that came in the form of donations from multiple West Michigan Republican donors, including former Ambassador Peter Secchia.

State Rep. Jim Lower (R-Greenville) reported raising $51,203 last period and $251,799 during the cycle. He has $62,411 in the bank.

Joel Langlois | Campaign photo

Grand Rapids-based businessman Joel Langlois compiled $246,669 last quarter and reported $196,676 cash on hand. He started his campaign in July.

The 3rd Congressional District may have no shortage of contenders, but several other races saw more money raised.

Next year’s U.S. Senate race is expected to be a top 10 contest. U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.) raised $2.5 million in the third quarter and ended with $6.31 million. Since January, he has accumulated a little more than $6.8 million.

GOP businessman John James raised $3.09 million last period and ended with $3.85 million cash on hand, giving him a slim lead this quarter. Peters still has James beat for the cycle, however – the Republican has raised $4.7 million since January.

John James (left) and Gary Peters (right) | Photos by Ken Coleman and Andrew Roth

First-year U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) is expected to face a fierce reelection fight in the 8th District. She raised more than $800,000 in the third quarter. That brings her total fundraising for 2020 to $2.1 million, with more than $1.72 million in the bank. 

Republicans Nikki Snyder, a state Board of Education member, and Mike Detmer announced this month after this FEC reporting period. 

Another freshman in a swing district, U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Rochester) collected $667,110 last period and $2.01 million for the cycle. She has $1.6 million left. Republican Whittney Williams, who’s also running in the 11th District, announced her candidacy in August. She raised $44,454 and ended with $31,392. 

Stevens, Slotkin set the pace for Michigan congressional fundraising

Democrats are targeting the 6th Congressional District represented by the dean of Michigan’s congressional delegation, U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph). He raised $284,734 for the quarter and $980,817 for the cycle. Upton has $640,288 in the bank. Challenger and state Rep. Jon Hoadley (D-Kalamazoo) took in $209,848 in the same period and $525,695 this cycle. He reported $187,139 in the bank at September’s end.

U.S. Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-Dryden) announced in July he would be retiring, leaving his heavily GOP 10th District seat open. State Rep. Shane Hernandez (R-Port Huron) declared his candidacy this month, after the third quarter ended. Republican challenger Brandon Mikula raised $28,419 this period and had $24,208 in the bank. Democrat Kimberly Bizon brought in $3,003, with $25,057 left over. 

Rep. Rashida Tlaib at a meeting on the EPA in Dearborn, Oct. 11, 2019 | Ken Coleman

There’s been some interest in launching a serious primary challenge to progressive freshman U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit), a member of the “Squad,” but she is the only 13th District candidate to report fundraising for this quarter. She took in $722,207 last quarter and $1.39 million total for the cycle, leaving her with $1.11 million in the bank. No Republicans have filed for the heavily Democratic seat.

Another freshman in a safe Dem seat, U.S. Rep. Andy Levin (D-Bloomfield Twp.), also didn’t have any fundraising competition in his 9th Congressional District. He collected $161,463 last period and $323,281 for the 2020 cycle. Levin has $210,665 left going into the fourth quarter.

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