Rinke leads Republican fundraising for governor, but Craig has raised more from his supporters

Republican businessman Kevin Rinke has more money to spend on his 2022 gubernatorial campaign than his GOP rivals, but James Craig has collected more donations from supporters.

Campaign finance statements filed on Monday show Rinke donated $2 million to his own campaign, technically making him the top fundraiser between Oct. 21 and Dec. 31, 2021. However, Rinke only raised $4. $938 from other donors. Craig led the Republican field with $607,830 in supporter donations.

Related: Whitmer raises $2.5 million for re-election and gives Michigan Democratic Party $3.5 million for recall defense

Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer said she raised $2.53 million for her re-election campaign in the final months of 2021. She had a total of $9.9 million to spend by the end of the year, plus than all the Republican candidates combined.

Rinke said he had $1.4 million to spend on his campaign earlier this year. He is the only Republican candidate to cross the $1 million threshold for available spending. Rinke, who has made a fortune owning several car dealerships, has pledged to spend $10 million of his own money on his candidacy.

Craig, the former Detroit police chief, raised half the amount in this reporting period compared to the previous one. His campaign also ran a deficit, spending $120,903 more than it raised. Craig had $845,970 to spend at the start of 2022.

His campaign spent $125,000 on consulting services, $121,000 on advertising and nearly $51,000 on security. Campaign financials show Craig hired Southfield-based Shield Security Consultants and Protection Services, LLC, a company owned by Detroit Police Department officer Mark Oliver. Personnel records obtained by MLive show Oliver went on personal leave in July 2021 and is expected to return to the department on July 1 this year.

Craig wasn’t the only campaign to spend more than it raised.

Garrett Soldano, a Portage chiropractor, raised $251,756 for his campaign. He said he spent $410,166 and had $315,195 left to spend at the start of the year.

Conservative media commentator and businesswoman Tudor Dixon raised $158,115 from donors. She spent $505,766 and said she only kept $96,259 for her campaign.

Michigan State Police Captain Michael Brown raised $131,234 during this reporting period. This includes a $114,955 loan from him. Brown’s campaign has spent $10,246 and is left with $128,223 at the start of 2022.

None of the remaining Republican gubernatorial candidates raised more than $20,000 during the reporting period, which likely wiped out their chances of having a serious chance of being nominated. Republican voters will choose a candidate in the August primary. The winner challenges Whitmer in November.

Perry Johnson, a Republican businessman, said he would invest $2.53 million in his campaign to match Whitmer’s fundraising total. Johnson filed for governor after the last filing period, so he did not report fundraising numbers for the end of 2021.


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