By Tim Kiska

Clark Durant is running against former Congressman Pete Hoekstra in next year’s Republican U.S. Senate primary.

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Durant is a longtime conservative activist with deep roots in Grosse Pointe. His donor base reflects that.

A solid 26 percent of Durant’s $758,657 in contributions came from east side zip codes. The expression “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” applies to a lot of things — campaign fundraising and political philosophy included.

Durant’s father, Richard, who died in 2008 at the age of 89, was a leader of the state’s conservative movement, long before conservatism became popular. He was also an important figure in east side politics for decades, beginning in the 1950s.

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The younger Durant seems to be working the old neighborhood. He picked up money from several members of the Ford family. Edsel Ford II and Henry Ford both kicked in money.  In addition, several members of the Crain family, of Crain Communications fame, wrote checks. Keith Crain and Christopher Crain both contributed $2,500.

A few other contributions: Robert Bobb, the former Emergency Financial Manager for the Detroit Public Schools, kicked in $500. Team Boehner, which is under the control of House Speaker John Boehner, threw in $5,000.

And here’s where the split in the Republican ranks is becoming evident. Betsy DeVos, former Republican party chair, wrote a check for $2,500. It’s curious, because she’s throwing in behind Durant instead of Hoekstra—who lives in her backyard.

Durant trails Hoekstra in fundraising efforts, with Hoekstra bringing in a little more than $1 million.

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But the numbers would seem to indicate that Durant’s entry into the race – with some DeVos dough in the mix — isn’t as quixotic as some were originally thinking.