Republican Gov.-elect Rick Snyder spent nearly $11 million in his campaign for the state's top job, including nearly $6 million from his own pocket, according to campaign finance reports filed Thursday.
Snyder raised $12.4 million and received $144,000 in in-kind contributions as of Nov. 22. He didn't take any money from political action committees, but many of his major donors were business executives.
He also got campaign help from the Republican Governors Association, which ran more than $2 million in ads on his behalf during the general election campaign after receiving $5.4 million from the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.
During the primary election campaign, Snyder's millions enabled him to fill the television airwaves with ads promoting him as "one tough nerd." He beat four opponents in the GOP primary before besting Democratic Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero in the November election.
Bernero's campaign finance report showed he raised $1.9 million in private funds and qualified for $1.1 million in public funds, giving Snyder a four-to-one financial advantage. Snyder reported he still had $1.4 million on hand, while Bernero spent nearly all his money.
A former executive at computer maker Gateway Inc. who has created two Ann Arbor venture capital firms, Snyder ran for governor on a platform promising to shake up business as usual at the state Capitol while fixing the economy and making state government run better.
Snyder campaign spokesman Bill Nowling said the more than $6 million Snyder raised from individual donors -- none of whom could give more than $3,400 -- showed his message resonated with nearly 2,000 supporters.
"It's reflective of the energy that Rick created during the campaign, and it shows that when you have a positive image and a positive message, people are going to respond," Nowling said.
Among Snyder's top contributors were Detroit Pistons owner Karen Davidson and former Bechtel Group co-owner Stephen Bechtel and his wife, Elizabeth, of San Francisco.
Snyder will be sworn in as governor on Jan. 1.