Peters breaks Michigan fundraising record with $1.9M in 1Q

    Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) on Wednesday, October 31, 2018 at Joan and Sanford Weill Hall. | Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan photo, Flickr
    Updated at 2:22 p.m. with fundraising totals from Stevens.

    Freshman U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.) took in $1.9 million in the first quarter of 2019, his campaign announced Wednesday morning. His cash-on-hand tops $3 million.

    Peters is up for re-election in 2020. Michigan is expected to be a critical state in both determining the presidency and control of the upper chamber.

    Peters’ haul is the most raised in the state at this point in the cycle, his campaign said. In 1Q 2017, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) collected $1.3 million. Stabenow won re-election last year over Republican John James, a veteran and businessman.

    James is reportedly mulling another senatorial bid — this time against Peters. The Republican could also challenge freshman U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Rochester) in the 11th District covering Wayne and Oakland counties. Stevens announced this week that she raised $565,000 in the first quarter.*

    “I’m grateful to have the support of so many folks from all across Michigan,” Peters said. “This record level of support reflects the fact that Michiganders want workhorses, not showhorses. They want tireless, effective leaders that work every day to protect healthcare, create good-paying jobs and a secure future that doesn’t leave any Michigander behind.”

    John James at the Detroit Regional Chamber conference, Feb. 28, 2019 |Ken Coleman

    The senator said 79 percent of his total contributions averaged $50 or less.

    Progressives have discussed primarying Peters next year, but so far, no challenger has emerged. One of the more likely contenders, former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed, has repeatedly said he isn’t interested.

    Peters won his U.S. Senate seat in 2014 and was the only non-incumbent Democrat elected during a Republican wave year in which the party took control of the upper chamber. He defeated former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land.

    Prior to that, Peters had served in the U.S. House since 2009*, having survived being cut out of his seat after the 2011 redistricting. He’s also a former state legislator.

    Correction: The date Peters began serving in the House has been updated.

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    Susan J. Demas is a 17-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.

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