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Cash Pouring In For Mich. Congressional Incumbents

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LANSING (AP) – Federal data shows Michigan’s congressional incumbents are dominating their challengers in raising campaign cash, a nonpartisan group said this week.

An analysis by the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, a nonprofit organization that conducts research on money in state politics, shows members of Congress from the state have brought in $18.7 million of the $22.7 million raised by candidates running in the Aug. 7 primary.

The network is relying on second-quarter campaign finance reports – through June 30 – filed with the Federal Election Commission.

The top fundraisers among Michigan incumbents this election cycle are Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp of Midland, who has raised $3.5 million, and Commerce and Energy Chairman Fred Upton of St. Joseph, whose campaign has brought in $3.1 million.

One incumbent who is not enjoying a distinct fundraising advantage is freshman Republican Rep. Dan Benishek of Crystal Falls, who faces a potential general election rematch with former Democratic state Rep. Gary McDowell.

Benishek has raised $1.3 million, compared with $913,000 for McDowell, but McDowell leads in cash on hand, $686,000 to $614,000.

Benishek and McDowell are running in the 1st District, which encompasses much of northern Lower Michigan and all of the Upper Peninsula.

In southeastern Michigan’s 14th District, incumbents Gary Peters and Hansen Clarke are running against each other in the Democratic primary.

Peters, a two-term congressman from Oakland County’s Bloomfield Township, has raised $1.8 million and has $813,000 on hand. Meanwhile, Clarke, a freshman from Detroit, has raised $684,000 with $381,000 on hand. Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence also is running in the 14th District Democratic primary. She has raised $104,000, but has less than $17,000 on hand.

And in another Detroit-area district, the 11th, which is vacant due to Livonia Republican Thaddeus McCotter’s resignation, the lone GOP candidate on the ballot, teacher and tea party supporter Kerry Bentivolio, has raised $168,000 and has $94,000 in cash on hand. Republican Nancy Cassis, a former state senator, has launched a write-in campaign and is spending $200,000 of her own money to defeat Bentivolio. She has $237,000 on hand.

McCotter raised $7,000 in the second quarter and had $121,000 in his congressional campaign account.

© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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