By Matt Christopherson

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – John James, Michigan republican senate challenger to Democratic incumbent Gary Peters has raised $6.4 million, topping Peters who has raised, $5.2 million.

It was the fourth straight quarter in which the businessman and Army veteran outraised the first-term senator since entering the race about a year ago. Peters reported he had more than $12 million on hand, while James did not release that figure.

Republican Senate candidate from Michigan, John James speaks at a Keep America Great Rally at Kellogg Arena on December 18, 2019, in Battle Creek, Michigan. (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY / AFP) (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

Both candidates reported record quarterly hauls and success tapping small-dollar donors — at least 95% of their donations were for $100 or less.

“Michigan cannot wait any longer for battle-tested leadership and that is exactly what this grassroots momentum shows,” said Abby Walls, James’ spokeswoman, who called Peters a failed “career partisan politician.”

Peters is one of two Democratic senators up for re-election in a state won by President Donald Trump.

Peters’ campaign said it had collected more than $18.6 million since the start of 2019 — a record for a Democratic Senate candidate in Michigan. James had raised about $19.5 million through June 30.

WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 18: Ranking Member Gary Peters (D-MI) questions Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz during a Senate Committee On Homeland Security And Governmental Affairs hearing at the US Capitol on December 18, 2019 in Washington, DC. Last week the Inspector General released a report on the origins of the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible ties with Russia during the 2016 Presidential elections. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

The quarter closed more than a week ago, but campaign finance reports are not due until Wednesday.

“The groundswell of grassroots support is a testament to Gary’s effective leadership and makes clear that Michiganders want to keep him in the Senate,” said Dan Farough, his campaign manager. “We are incredibly grateful for the continued support from folks across the state, especially as we face unprecedented challenges.”

As of the end of March, Peters and James had roughly even amounts of cash on hand. Peters has led in polling.

This week, Peters’ campaign launched a new TV ad in which he talks about supporting small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic and expanding American manufacturing. On Thursday, he announced legislation that would establish an independent institute to coordinate federal manufacturing programs.

Peters said the national approach to manufacturing has been piecemeal and pointed to how the pandemic has exposed supply chain vulnerabilities and an overreliance on foreign manufacturers.

James recently has been traveling to Michigan counties with some of the highest unemployment rates in the country following the state’s economic shutdown to curb the coronavirus. He has been seeking input on ways to help more people be on the “path to prosperity.”

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Matt Christopherson

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