Money pours in for Stabenow, James Se­nate race

The Detroit News - - News - BY LEONARD N. FLEM­ING The Detroit News

The race be­tween Demo­cratic U.S. Sen. Deb­bie Stabenow and Repub­li­can John James will fea­ture back-to-back de­bates this Sun­day and Mon­day in a con­test that has fea­tured a gusher of new money and keen in­ter­est from the White House.

The first de­bate be­tween the two con­tenders will take place Sun­day af­ter­noon in Grand Rapids and the sec­ond on Mon­day at the Detroit Eco­nomic Club lun­cheon. This will be Stabenow’s first de­bate in more than a decade as she did not have any in her last re-elec­tion cam­paign against former U.S. Rep. Pete Hoek­stra, R-Hol­land.

Stabenow said she’s “look­ing for­ward to” the de­bates.

“I view this as an op­por­tu­nity for me to talk with vot­ers about the hard work that I’ve been do­ing on their be­half and the re­sults that I’ve been get­ting fight­ing for Michi­gan ev­ery day,” she said. “My tone will be pos­i­tive. I get re­sults ev­ery sin­gle day work­ing across the aisle, and this is an op­por­tu­nity to re­ally be able to talk about that.”

James said he is rel­ish­ing the op­por­tu­nity to de­bate Stabenow on her record.

“Sen. Stabenow is a 43-year politi­cian who has been paid $4 mil­lion from tax­pay­ers and only passed six bills,” he said, a point the cam­paigns have dis­puted. “Sen. Stabenow owns a mil­lion­dol­lar home in D.C. and re­cently said she was ‘un­aware’ of the is­sues fac­ing our vet­er­ans. I look for­ward to talk­ing about my record as a com­bat vet­eran and job cre­ator com­pared to her record as a ca­reer politi­cian who is in­ef­fec­tive.”

James gen­er­ated more than $3.6 mil­lion for the last quar­ter, dou­bling the $1.8 mil­lion for Stabenow in the same pe­riod and post­ing his first fundrais­ing vic­tory.

The po­lit­i­cal novice and Farm­ing­ton Hills busi­ness­man is seek­ing to im­prove his name iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and close the gap with Stabenow, a Lans­ing Demo­crat who has dom­i­nated with air­waves with pos­i­tive ads on the en­vi­ron­ment and farm­ing.

She led 53 per­cent to 35 per­cent over James in a Sept. 30-

Oct. 2 Detroit News-WDIV poll that had a mar­gin of er­ror of plus-mi­nus 4 per­cent­age points. Nearly 40 per­cent of likely Michi­gan vot­ers did not know who James is in the early Oc­to­ber poll, though his name ID im­proved to 58 per­cent, com­pared with 54 per­cent in early Septem­ber.

Stabenow said that she thought that James “would be rais­ing dol­lars cer­tainly” this quar­ter, but “the fact is I feel so grate­ful that peo­ple have been sup­port­ing me at lev­els through­out the cam­paign” and that more than 90 per­cent of the peo­ple who have given to her have do­nated $100 or less.

“I have worked very hard to be in a po­si­tion to be able to com­mu­ni­cate my mes­sage. We’ve been on TV since Au­gust,” she said. “I feel very com­fort­able with where we are in terms of hav­ing the re­sources to run an ef­fec­tive cam­paign.”

De­spite James’ fundrais­ing surge, the long­time sen­a­tor has nearly $3 mil­lion cash on hand com­pared with $2.7 mil­lion for mil­i­tary vet­eran and busi­ness­man.

“I’m proud that the John James army of 60,000 in­di­vid­ual grass­roots donors could dou­ble the amount of a 43-year politi­cian and the tight­en­ing polls re­flect the strength of our mes­sage: pro­tect­ing the Amer­i­can Dream for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions,” James said.

Stabenow

al­ready

has

re­served and run $3.2 mil­lion worth of ads for the last four weeks of the cam­paign.

The James’ fundrais­ing im­prove­ment fol­lows key fundraisers held by Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence and Flor­ida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, both of whom came to Michi­gan to help him raise money against the well-funded Stabenow.

Pres­i­dent Trump in­vited James to the White House in mid-Septem­ber for a meet­ing and Twit­ter photo op­por­tu­nity and then took him around to meet key Repub­li­can lead­ers in Wash­ing­ton af­ter James and Pence at­tended an­other fundraiser.

U.S. Sen. Deb­bie Stabenow and John James will de­bate Sun­dayand Mon­day.

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