LANSING, Mich. — The race to represent the 7th Congressional District is already shaping up to be an expensive one, and one candidate is leading the pack by millions of dollars.
According to the Federal Election Commission, Democratic Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin has raised over $5 million, placing her well ahead of her Republican opponents. State Sen. Tom Barrett has raised over $700,000 and, although latecomer Jake Hagg has no entry on the site, he reports approximately $400,000 of his own money on hand.
“I'm not going to have direct parity with my opponent. But I do know that I need to raise the resources necessary to get my message out," Barrett said.
Hagg says he is bankrolling his campaign so that he is not beholden to any one large donor.
“I'm a little bit different of a candidate when it comes to fundraising because I am self-funding the main amount of my campaign. I don't want to be beholden to any sort of special interests or people," Hagg said.
Slotkin’s team says the campaign has accepted no money from corporate PACs.
“Here are the facts, 89 percent of our contributions are of $100 or less, and we’ve received over 20,000 contributions from Michiganders," Emma Grundhauser, Slotkin's campaign manager, wrote in an email to Fox 47.
Simon Schuster the executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, said the candidate who raises the most still might not win.
“I think it's important to note that having more money than your opponent doesn't mean that you're going to win an election," he said.
But it certainly helps.
“You can't say that money is the sole deciding factor, but in a close race, it can make all the difference…," he said. "Rep. Slotkin, specifically, she has proven herself to be a very successful and aggressive fundraiser. I think Tom Barrett has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to fundraising.”
Slotkin is running unopposed in the Democratic primary coming up on Aug. 2, but Barrett and Hagg will square off in the Republican primary.
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