“It’s kind of like starting from scratch right now” … “Behind the eight ball from the very beginning of this campaign” … “All been kind of stuck in the mud” … “They’re already spending more than they’re raising” … “None of these candidates have excited the GOP electorate” … “Never going to get any traction”
In the Republican gubernatorial primary, not one candidate has managed to emerge from the crowded and messy field. That fact was reinforced at the end of last month when campaign finance disclosures told the story of a slate too extreme and out-of-touch to gain any support from Michiganders. They started 2022 still “stuck in the mud” with no momentum.
Panelists on the most recent installment of Tim Skubick’s Off the Record (Chuck Stokes, Stella Yu, and Jonathan Oosting) were amongst the many to analyze this fundraising problem that has left many Republicans “behind the eight ball from the very beginning of this campaign.”
Read key excerpts below and WATCH the clip here.
First, Tim Skubick and Conservative Pundit Bill Ballenger Took Turns in a Pre-Taped Segment Writing the Obituary for James Craig’s Frontrunner Status.
TIM SKUBICK: We looked at the numbers in the governor’s race and they’re interesting to say the least. James Craig never labeled himself the frontrunner in the crowded Republican primary for governor, but the storyline from his supporters said that he was. But his opponents now could make the case, perhaps, that based on his finances, he may not be the guy to beat. The former Detroit Police Chief to date has raised about $2 million dollars. In the last quarter he took in 608,000. However, he spent $120,000 more than he raised. […] Political pundit Bill Ballenger adds up all the money and reaches this conclusion about Mr. Craig.
BILL BALLENGER (The Ballenger Report): Craig has lost that advantage that he had six months ago. And it’s kind of like starting from scratch right now at this point.
Chuck Stokes Then Explained How Craig’s Failure to Display Any Momentum Only Encouraged More Candidates to Jump Into This Already Bloated Primary.
SKUBICK: Chuck, you heard our friend Mr. Ballenger basically declare, and Steve Mitchell is added his voice to the chorus, that it appears that Mr. Craig is no longer the frontrunner. Is that a fair assessment you think at this read?
CHUCK STOKES (WXYZ ABC 7): Yeah, I think it’s a fair assessment. One, because there’s so many candidates in this race. It’s like a Kentucky Derby horse race and you’re still trying to figure out all the names on the horses. And also the fact that he hasn’t raised as much money as people thought he would have raised being, quote unquote, the frontrunner, and the fact that he has spent more than he is raised, which raises the question of fiscal integrity. And that may become something on the campaign trail. And then John Yob, the powerful Republican consultant over on the west side of the state, switched from him. He’s now gotten behind Perry Johnson, Bloomfield Hills businessman who’s jumped into the race and calls himself the “quality guru” who’s going to put $2.5 million of his own money into this race, maybe even more when it’s all said and done. And John Yob made the point, and I think he’s probably accurate, is that none of these candidates have excited the GOP electorate yet. And so that’s why Perry Johnson has jumped into the race.
Then, Skubick Pointed Out That Every Other Candidate, Including the Millionaire Self-Funders, Weren’t Faring Much Better as They Also Failed to Both Show Support From Michiganders or Any Semblance of Fiscal Responsibility.
TIM SKUBICK: Millionaire former car dealer Kevin Rinkie raised only $4,900 bucks. But he wrote a check to himself for $2 million for the campaign. And newly announced millionaire candidate Perry Johnson from Oakland County is using $1.5 million of his own money to launch a TV ad campaign. […] Republican candidate Tudor Dixon raised $158,000 last quarter, but she overspent her budget by $70,000. And Republican candidate Garrett Saldano raised $252,000 but he overspent his budget by $158,000. […] And then there’s candidate Mike Brown who has raised $146,000 so far, with $120,000 of his own money. And then lesser known candidate Ralph Rebandt raised $15,000 and Ryan Kelley took in $18,000.
Lastly, Jonathan Oosting Identified That Despite the Momentum Vacuum Craig Triggered, No Republican Has Managed to Fill It.
SKUBICK: Jonathan, the numbers on the Republican side were interesting in that a lot of these so called candidates are not raising a lot of bucks. What was your take on this?
JONATHAN OOSTING (Bridge Michigan): […] You know, some of these candidates were sort of vying to fill this vacuum that seems to be created by James Craig…not really taking off the way folks expected have all been kind of stuck in the mud. You know, you mentioned Soldano and Dixon, for instance, both spending more than they raised in this last period. That’s not good, because neither of them have paid for television ads yet, for instance, and they’re already spending more than they’re raising.