Four Main Takeaways from the Republican Gubernatorial Field After October Quarterly Figures Were Released

LANSING — All 12 Republicans currently seeking the gubernatorial nomination were required to report their fundraising totals yesterday. While none came close to Governor Whitmer, who extended her “record-breaking” fundraising lead to $17 million, the disclosures add detail to a primary that will only get messier over the next year.

1) James Craig Continues to be Propped Up and Bankrolled by Party Insiders by the Tens of Thousands.

MIGOP insiders are doing everything in their power to inflate the Craig candidacy and show no signs of stopping. This reporting period showed that max out checks are just one of the many perks that come with being the hand-picked candidate. 

Embattled former Governor Rick Snyder, special interest lobbyist and pro-Craig PAC treasurer Governor John Engler (and his wife), and former MIGOP chair Bobby Schostak along with a number of party fundraising regulars were the top donors of the period, bringing in over $40,000 for Craig between them.

2) Garrett Soldano Put Up Another Strong Quarter, Showing That the Grassroots Won’t Just Accept the MIGOP’s Attempts to Crown Craig.

After a reporting period marked by several well-attended campaign events across Michigan, including the thousands of Republicans that showed up to hear him prop up baseless election lies in Antrim County while MIGOP insiders were up on Mackinac Island, Garrett Soldano has the grassroots lane cornered. 

With an October quarterly report on par with his July one and over $1 million raised to date, Soldano has once again shown that it pays to embrace far-right extremism and 2020 election conspiracy theories as much as possible. He heads into the rest of the year with nearly a half million on hand to keep doing just that everywhere but YouTube, where he was permanently banned for spreading COVID-19 disinformation. 

3) Tudor Dixon is Openly Coordinating with an “Independent” Super PAC Raising Funds on Her Behalf.

In a “brazen” attempt to project fundraising strength, Tudor Dixon combined both her campaign’s direct fundraising total ($215,000) and what Michigan Strong, an aligned super PAC, managed to raise between July and October. 

Bridge Michigan reporter Jonathan Oosting noted how unusual it was for a candidate to “tout fundraising figures from a super PAC while maintaining that said super PAC Is ‘independently’ supporting her.” What’s worse, 100% of the $200,00 in Michigan Strong’s account came from “west Michigan heiress” Kim Van Kampen, a prominent member of Wellington, Florida’s equestrian community. With this move, Dixon showed she’ll go to any length necessary to align herself with the interests of a single wealthy donor at the expense of Michigan families.

4) Where is Kevin Rinke?

After pledging to self-fund multiple times in July and becoming a declared candidate nearly two months ago, businessman Kevin Rinke reported zero contributions/loans and zero disbursements in his October quarterly. With his potential entry into the race still up in the air, the primary remains messy and unsettled for Republicans. 

MDP spokesperson Rodericka Applewhaite issued the following statement:

“Regardless of what money stunts party insiders, special interests, far-right extremists, super PACs and all-talk-no-action millionaires attempt to pull in this primary, one thing remains abundantly clear: not one of the 12 Republicans embroiled in this messy and divisive gubernatorial race have shown they have what it takes to lead Michigan. Meanwhile, Governor Whitmer has been fighting for working families every step of the way – getting folks safely back to work, making historic investments in public education, and reaching across the aisle to fix the damn roads – all without raising taxes.”

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