Nearly three-quarters of the money raised by Republican Ruth Johnson in her bid for secretary of state has come from her own pocket, and she and other GOP candidates for statewide office got a sizable funding boost from their party, according to recently released campaign finance reports.
Johnson, the Oakland County clerk, has raised nearly $490,000, including more than $354,000 she gave and more than $61,000 from the Michigan Republican Party. She's spent more than $59,000 and has more than $430,000 on hand.
Democratic candidate Jocelyn Benson has raised more than $627,000, including $17,000 from the Michigan Education Association's political action committee and $9,000 from herself. She has spent nearly $169,000 and has more than $434,000 on hand.
Her campaign has gotten in-kind contributions of $1,000 from the Michigan Democratic State Central Committee.
Benson's campaign took aim at Johnson's fundraising on Tuesday, noting that behind contributions from herself and the GOP her next biggest contributor was $33,000 from the Michigan Chamber of Commerce's political action committee.
"What sort of favors will she owe to groups propping up her campaign if she's elected to this office?" asked Benson spokesman T.J. Bucholz.
Johnson spokeswoman Denise DeCook attributed the fundraising pattern to the fact that Democrats picked their favorite for the secretary of state's race at an April endorsement convention, while Johnson didn't get the GOP nod until August. DeCook also noted Johnson has been running for a much shorter time than Benson.
DeCook said "a lifetime of hard and frugal living" has given Johnson the savings to help fund her campaign.
The reports detail the period from mid-August to mid-September, and include totals for the entire campaign. Reports were due Monday for Republicans and Tuesday for Democrats in races including secretary of state, attorney general and state Supreme Court. The election is Nov. 2.
Like Johnson, the GOP-nominated candidates for attorney general and state Supreme Court have gotten about $60,000 each from the Michigan Republican Party. Those nominated by Democrats got less or none from the state party.
In the attorney general's race, Republican Bill Schuette has raised nearly three times as much money as Democrat David Leyton.
Finance reports show Schuette raised more than $1.1 million, including $34,000 each from political action committees related to the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and Grand Rapids-based retailer Meijer Inc.
The former Court of Appeals judge spent more than $714,000 and has about $426,000 on hand. He's given about $7,800 to his campaign.
Leyton raised nearly $403,000, including $17,000 from the Michigan Education Association's political action committee. The Genesee County prosecutor has spent more than $143,000 and has more than $259,000 on hand.
In the race for the Michigan Supreme Court, reports show current justices Robert Young Jr. and Alton T. Davis have a fundraising edge.
Young has raised nearly $515,000. He's spent more than $82,000 and has more than $432,000 on hand. Davis, who was appointed to the court in the summer, raised more than $194,000. He's spent about $3,000 and has more than $191,000 on hand.
Wayne County Judge Mary Beth Kelly has raised more than $157,000. She's spent nearly $80,000 and has $77,000 on hand. Oakland County Judge Denise Langford Morris has raised nearly $45,000. She's spent more than $17,000 and has more than $27,000 on hand. Morris got nearly $7,000 from the Michigan Democratic Party.
Republicans nominated Young and Kelly, while Democrats are offering Davis and Morris. The races appear as nonpartisan at the end of the ballot.