Lansing Stabenow raises $1.5M in 2nd quarter, buys TV time

By Kathy Barks Hoffman

AP Political Writer

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Democratic U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow has raised $1.5 million in the fundraising quarter than ended June 20, the Michigan senator's campaign said Monday.

The campaign also reported that it has purchased about $3.3 million for TV ads to run in October and November before the Nov. 6 election. It said that left the campaign with more than $4.5 million on hand.

Four Republicans are running in the Aug. 7 primary for the chance to challenge Stabenow. They face a Sunday deadline to disclose their fundraising figures, but none have released any numbers so far.

Republicans hoping to challenge Stabenow are former U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, Detroit charter school executive Clark Durant, former Kent County Judge Randy Hekman and Gary Glenn, head of the American Family Association of Michigan.

Stabenow had a substantial fundraising lead over all four at the end of March, when she reported having $7 million on hand. Hoekstra and Durant each had just more than $1.5 million on hand, Glenn had about $21,500 and Hekman had about $7,000.

Also Monday, Durant said he had received the endorsement of the Gun Owners of America Political Victory Fund and that he planned to launch a series of campaign ads that will run on broadcast stations around the state until the primary election.

Polls show the Grosse Pointe resident has far less statewide name recognition than Hoekstra, who represented a west Michigan congressional district for 18 years and ran for governor in 2010.

But Durant, who has the backing of former state Republican Party leaders Spencer Abraham, Betsy DeVos and Saul Anuzis, said his ad blitz should solve that problem in coming weeks. Durant recently won the endorsement of the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee, known as the Friends of West Michigan Business, despite Hoekstra being from Holland.

Durant said the Gun Owners endorsement was important because the National Rifle Association, whose endorsement counts with many Republican voters, plans to remain neutral in the GOP primary election.

"We've been doing this as a marathon, not a sprint," Durant said. "So every one of these things continues to add momentum."

Published: Wed, Jul 11, 2012