U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.) has scored some major Hollywood donors for his 2020 reelection bid against Republican businessman John James.
Peters landed $5,600 from filmmaker Steven Spielberg, director of such classics including “E.T.,” “Schindler’s List” and “Saving Private Ryan.” Peters collected another $5,600 from director and producer J.J. Abrams, best known for his work on the “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” series. DreamWorks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg also donated $5,600 to the Michigan Democrat.
The movie moguls and their wives are prolific Democratic donors. Spielberg’s wife, Kate Capshaw, donated another $5,600 to Peters, as did Katzenberg’s wife, Marilyn. That’s the maximum allowed amount per cycle, and it includes $2,800 for the primary and another $2,800 for the general election.
The first-term senator also received $5,600 donations from Detroit Pistons vice chairman Arn Tellem and from former President Barack Obama administration Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.
As the Advance previously reported, James, who announced his U.S. Senate campaign in June, raised about $3 million in the third period, which was his first full quarter in the race.
Peters raised about $2.4 million during that time. The incumbent has raised about $8.7 million over the cycle, however, compared to James’ $4.5 million so far.
James also snagged some well-known business donors in what could be a competitive race next November.
Prominent Republican donor David Van Andel, chair and CEO of Van Andel Institute, donated $5,600 to James. (Van Andel also donated $2,800 to Republican Peter Meijer, who is challenging incumbent independent U.S. Rep. Justin Amash in the 3rd District). Members of the West Michigan billionaire DeVos family have given James $36,400 this cycle.
James also received $5,600 from Chicago billionaire and real estate mogul Sam Zell. Former Mississippi Republican Gov. Haley Barbour, who spoke at this year’s Michigan GOP confab on Mackinac Island, donated $1,000 to James’ campaign in June. Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) donated $500 to James that month.