Foster posts strong fundraising; MacMaster spends in off-year
State Rep. Frank Foster, R-Petoskey, leads area candidates and lawmakers, after banking more than $51,000 during the last 14 months. (Brandon Hubbard/News-Review)
The campaign finance watchdog put Gov. Rick Snyder as the top fundraiser with $346,300 during the past cycle, but also noted the governor repaid himself $825,000 on a loan from the 2010 primary election.
Local Republicans serving their first term following the 2010 election fared well also in the funding race.
Freshman Rep. Frank Foster, R-Petoskey, will have at least $51,343 to use for his re-election campaign, according to campaign finance reports filed Tuesday.
Foster, in a statement, said he continues to "rely on the generosity" of his donors in both his district and across Michigan.
Political action committee donations made up more than half of Foster's committee funding.
Among the top donors to Foster's campaign during the past year were the Michigan Health & Hospital Association PAC with $5,000, $2,500 from the Michigan Credit Union League Action Fund, $2,000 from the Michigan Bankers Association PAC, $1,650 from Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan, as well as $1,000 from each of the Meijer PAC, the Michigan Association of Nurse Anesthetists, Auto Dealers of Michigan and Business Leaders for Michigan PAC.
The Emmet County Republican Party's committee also contributed $399.
Foster has at least two people vying for his seat this year.
Suzanne Shumway, a veteran professor at North Central Michigan College and Petoskey resident, announced Thursday that she will be running as a Democrat in the 107th House District. Shumway, according to her committee report, has $2,583 in cash on hand toward starting her campaign.
Challenging Shumway for the Democratic nomination will be Jim Martin, a Sault Ste. Marie High School teacher, who is also making his first attempt at politics.
Although he has not publicly begun his campaign, Martin's committee reported having $2,166 in cash on hand.
In the 105th House District, first-term Rep. Greg MacMaster, R-Kewadin, took in just less than $20,000 in contributions during the past 14 months, but currently has $2,845 in cash on hand.
The representative spent the bulk of his funds traveling the district and claiming bills for hotels, gas and food. Other expenditures included $1,000 to the House Republican Campaign Committee, which serves as the election arm of the state GOP, and a number of costs associated with attending parades.
Senator Howard Walker, R-Traverse City, doesn't have to run for re-election until 2014, but already is working on building a campaign cushion. The senator, who previously served three terms in the House, finished with more than $18,000 in cash.
Walker received strong support from energy suppliers in Michigan.
The DTE Energy PAC contributed $2,750 and CMS Energy PAC contributed $1,500 to the state senator.