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Campaign Finance: 37th District State House Candidates

There's a big cash gap between incumbent State Rep. Vicki Barnett (D-Farmington Hills) and challenger Bruce Lilley of Farmington, ahead of the Aug. 7 primary.

Incumbent 37th District State Rep. Vicki Barnett (D-Farmington Hills) has raised about three times as much money as her Republican opponent Bruce Lilley of Farmington, according to Pre Primary Campaign Statements filed with the Michigan Secretary of State July 27. 

Statements show Barnett adding $25,149 to a balance of $27,270 already in her campaign fund. Lilley has raised $8,283. 

You can find both reports on the State of Michigan website, but here are some of the highlights:

Balances

Headed into the Aug. 7 primary, Barnett has a remaining balance of more than $38,000; Lilley has a little over $1,400.  

Geography

The vast majority of Lilley's contributions came from donors in Oakland County, 22 of the 37 from people in Farmington or Farmington Hills. Only one campaign contribution came from out of state, presumably from a family member. More than $1,100 came from the candidate himself. 

Of the 104 individual donations Barnett received, more than 70 came from Farmington and Farmington Hills, and most others, from Oakland County. Barnett also received contributions from Political Action Committees (PACs) based in Lansing, Detroit, Dearborn, Livonia, Jackson, Okemos, Washington, DC, Winston-Salem, NC and Columbus, OH. 

PACs

Lilley has yet to receive any dollars from Political Action Committees, which raise funds to represent blocs of voters in unions, businesses and other interest groups. 

Barnett has received funds from:

  • MEA Political Action Council - $5,000
  • I.B.E.W. - C.O.P.E. - $2,150
  • Registrars PAC Local 58 I.B.E.W. - $1,950
  • AFSCME-PEOPLE - $1,000
  • DFT Political Action Fund - $750
  • MI R.J. Reynolds PAC - $1,200
  • DTE Energy Company PAC - $1,100
  • Realtors PAC of Michigan - $750
  • Operating Engineers Local 324 - $600
  • Auto Dealers of Michigan PAC - $600
  • CMS Energy Employees PAC - $250
  • Pharmacy Action Council - $1,050
  • Ford Motor Company Michigan PAC - $800
  • Michigan Distributors & Vendors Assoc. PAC - $250
  • Michigan Assoc. of Health Plans - $1,000
  • GCSI 21st Century PAC - $250
  • Pipefitters Local 636 PPAC - $250
  • CRAM RUSH PAC - $400
  • MI Association for Justice PAC - $700
  • Fifth Third Bancorp PAC - $200
  • BOMA Michigan PAC - $200
  • MHSA Political Action Committee - $450
  • Oakland Educators PAC - $150
  • Michigan Land Title Association PAC - $150
  • Michigan Bankers Association PAC - $800
  • Cleveland Cliffs Iron MPAC - $300
  • AFT Michigan PAC - $300
  • Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan - $175

(Amounts represent cumulative donations.)

Spending

Barnett has made $6,500 in contributions to the House Democratic Caucus, contributed smaller donations to other campaigns and purchased tickets to local fundraisers. She has also paid for "robo-calls" to remind constituents about her coffee hours, refreshments for those coffee hours, and miscellaneous office and food expenses. 

Lilley's largest expenditures were $2,900 to Mitchell Research and Communications, for consulting services, and $1,200 to Farmington Holding Corp. for rental of office space in the Village Mall building on Farmington Road south of Grand River. He has also purchased promotional items and media services. 

Correction: Expenditures listed on the Barnett campaign finance report under the "Polling" category were automatic calls made to constituents to remind them of Barnett's coffee hours. Barnett said refreshments and all other expenses for those events are paid for out of her campaign funds, rather than her state-funded budget, and her campaign has done no polling.

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