LANSING (AP) — Republican John James of Michigan said Wednesday he raised $3.6 million in the last quarter, doubling what Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow took in as he seeks to gain ground in a race that she polls suggest she has led by double- igits.
Stabenow still has a financial edge, with $3 million cash on hand to James’ $2.7 million. The third-term senator also has already spent $3.2 million on TV aids to air in the final four weeks of the campaign.
“We have strong fundraising numbers,” James, a business executive and Iraq War veteran, told reporters after he was endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at an event in Lansing. “As we go down the homestretch, we will be able to compete and get our message out there.”
James and Stabenow will meet for two debates in coming days. James will hold a rally in Pontiac next week with Donald Trump Jr. and musician Kid Rock, an event his campaign hopes is attended by thousands.
Stabenow, who entered the general election phase in a much stronger financial position than James, had the airwaves to herself from mid-August until he began airing an ad last week.
Republicans are hopeful that the bitter battle over Brett Kavanaugh’s ascension to the U.S. Supreme Court has energized their voters, who had been considered less motivated than Democrats heading into the midterm election. Stabenow opposed his confirmation.
James said Wednesday that he would have voted to confirm Kavanaugh.
“We must believe accusers. We also must understand that the accused have the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty,” he said. He said an investigation of sexual misconduct allegations dating from Kavanaugh’s high school and college years was conducted, “and we are moving forward.”
James noted that Kavanaugh has hired four clerks, all women, the first time that has happened. Two of the three African-American clerks at the Supreme Court previously worked for Kavanaugh, he said.
Stabenow, meanwhile, was at the White House on Wednesday as President Donald Trump signed into law bills to stop insurers from prohibiting pharmacists from telling consumers when paying cash would be cheaper than using insurance for their prescriptions. She sponsored one of the two measures.
“Thanks to a successful bipartisan effort, we’ve banned this outrageous practice once and for all,” Stabenow said in a statement. “This is an important step toward lowering the skyrocketing prices of prescription drugs for Michigan families.”
She also applauded the Senate’s passage of legislation Wednesday that would authorize funding for the construction of a second large shipping lock on the waterway linking Lakes Huron and Superior. Once Trump signs the water infrastructure bill, Congress will still need to appropriate funds in separate legislation over numerous years to pay for the $922 million project.
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