AP NEWS

James cuts into Peters’ cash edge in Michigan Senate race

October 15, 2019
FILE - In this combination of 2018 and 2019 file photos are from left, Democratic U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., and Republican U.S. Senate candidate John James. James raised more than $3 million in the last quarter, at least $500,000 more than Peters. Fundraising figures announced Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, by the campaigns shows that the first-term senator has a financial edge, but the challenger is making up ground. (AP Photos, File)
FILE - In this combination of 2018 and 2019 file photos are from left, Democratic U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., and Republican U.S. Senate candidate John James. James raised more than $3 million in the last quarter, at least $500,000 more than Peters. Fundraising figures announced Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, by the campaigns shows that the first-term senator has a financial edge, but the challenger is making up ground. (AP Photos, File)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Republican challenger John James cut into Sen. Gary Peters’ financial edge by raising $3.1 million in the last quarter, or nearly $600,000 more than was collected by the first-term Democrat.

Peters still has the overall advantage, with $6.3 million in the bank as of Sept. 30. James, a businessman and Iraq War veteran, had $3.8 million left for the general election that is more than a year away.

He narrowed Peters’ $3 million cash-on-hand margin by about $500,000 since June 30, weeks after he entered the race.

Neither candidate immediately made public his campaign-finance report at Tuesday’s deadline. The information filed to the Federal Election Commission details fundraising and spending.

“I think that our strong low-dollar fundraising this quarter shows that Michiganders are excited to see a bit of light and compassion infused into this very dark and divisive political environment,” James said in a written statement. “Action and authenticity are resonating.”

Peters, who raised $2.5 million from July through September — the best quarter of his campaign — said he was “humbled and grateful” for the support.

“It’s clear Michiganders want effective, bipartisan leaders who will work with anyone to get the job done,” he said in a written statement.

The Peters campaign took in more than 25,000 contributions, a 10,000-plus increase from the previous quarter. James reported having nearly 30,000 donors to fuel the largest haul for any Senate candidate in a non-election year in recent Michigan history.

Peters is one of two Democratic senators up for re-election in a state won by President Donald Trump. Outside of Alabama, Michigan may be the GOP’s best opportunity to target an incumbent, though Democrats traditionally have dominated Senate elections in the state.

James lost to Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow in 2018 but fared better than previous GOP candidates.

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