Michigan GOP Fundraising Leader Emerges As Whitmer Reports Record Haul
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer talks with people as Democratic vice presidential nominee Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) takes part in a campaign stop at IBEW Local 58 on October 25, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan.
JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images

Michigan Republican gubernatorial candidate Kevin Rinke reported an impressive $8 million in contributions for the year so far, while Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s re-election campaign has hauled in a record-breaking war chest of $14.7 million.

Rinke far outpaced his four GOP opponents who will join him on the August 2 primary ballot and came up just shy of the governor’s total donations with over $10 million in contributions for the election cycle.

The governor’s reported cash on hand marks the largest ever for any candidate at the end of a reporting period in Michigan history. Whitmer’s haul was nearly triple what previous Michigan Governors Rick Snyder (R) and Jennifer Granholm (D) reported over the same time period in their re-election campaigns, according to Craig Mauger of The Detroit News.

“Our campaign is proud to have the support of Michiganders in every single county as Gov. Whitmer keeps working with anyone to deliver on kitchen table issues that matter most,” Whitmer campaign Communications Director Maeve Coyle told The Detroit News.

Whitmer will take a clear spending advantage into the general election campaign against the winner of the GOP nomination, but the Michigan Republican Party remains confident that it will defeat her in November.

“Gretchen Whitmer can raise all the money in the world and Michiganders will still remember what she did to dramatically shift the state in the wrong direction,” Michigan GOP Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director Gustavo Portela told The Daily Wire. “Michiganders remember that she shuttered the economy, driving businesses away and keeping students away from the classroom while supporting Joe Biden’s policies that made everything more expensive. We’re going to make her a one-term governor this fall.”

Businesswoman and political commentator Tudor Dixon came next after Rinke with nearly $1.2 million raised this year, putting her at nearly $1.7 million for the election cycle. Dixon has received endorsements from the influential DeVos family and Michigan Right to Life.

While west Michigan chiropractor Garrett Soldano reported less than Dixon with $736,000 for the year, he still holds a slight lead over her for the cycle with $2 million.

Real estate broker Ryan Kelley pulled in just over $200,000 since January. Kelley was arrested by the FBI on June 9 for his alleged role in the January 6 Capitol riot, and over half of the money he raised came after the arrest, The Detroit News reported.

Pastor Ralph Rebandt reported the lowest in donations out of the Republican gubernatorial candidates, coming in at $181,000 for the year.

Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig, who was disqualified from appearing on the GOP primary ballot after forged signatures were found on his ballot petitions, reported raising over $1.2 million in the period. Craig was the favorite heading into the GOP primary race earlier this year, and launched a write-in campaign following his disqualification, but recent polls don’t include Craig’s standing in the race.

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