WASHINGTON (AP) – Michigan members of Congress have an average
of $318,554 on hand for their re-election campaigns as 2004
approaches, according to campaign finance documents filed
yesterday.

The average is based on reports from 14 of Michigan’s 15 U.S.
House members. A fund-raising statement for Rep. John Conyers
(D-Detroit) was unavailable through the Federal Election Commission
or through Conyers’ office. Conyers reported having $23,110 at the
end of June.

Michigan’s average pales in comparison to the $2.76 million Rep.
Mark Foley (R-Fla.) has on hand. Foley was named the top candidate
in campaign cash this summer by Political Money Line, a nonpartisan
service that tracks campaign finances.

Even so, the average does put Michigan representatives in the
top half of members of Congress in fund-raising.

Rep. Dale Kildee leads his colleagues with $660,775, including
$67,319 raised since the quarter that began July 1. The American
Sugarbeet Growers Association and the American Postal Workers Union
were among Kildee’s donors.

Kildee was far ahead of his Republican challenger Myrah Kirkwood
of Flint, who reported $26,124 on hand.

Rep. Nick Smith (R-Addison Twp.) who is not running for
re-election, raised the least, reporting $56,100. He said yesterday
that he plans to use at least some of his campaign money to
establish an exploratory committee for Michigan’s 2006 U.S. Senate
race.

State Rep. Gene DeRossett (R-Manchester Twp.) appeared to be the
fund-raising leader in the race to replace Smith. DeRossett
reported $295,698 on hand, including $112,606 raised since July 1.
State Rep. Clark Bisbee (R-Jackson) had $97,449 on hand, while
former state Rep. Tim Walberg of Tipton reported $32,243 and former
state Rep. Paul DeWeese had $25,431.

Smith’s son, Republican attorney Brad Smith, filed for the race
for his father’s seat on Oct. 10, so he did not have to turn in
financial information. No Democrats have filed for the 7th District
race so far.

Several Michigan members of Congress had between $300,000 and
$600,000 on hand, including first-year Rep. Candice Miller
(R-Harrison Township) who reported $441,584. Others in that range
included Rep. Dave Camp (R-Midland) with $577,110; Rep. Carolyn
Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Detroit, with $467,184; Rep. John Dingell
(D-Dearborn) with $450,106; Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Brighton) with
$410,074; and Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-Grand Rapids) with
$309,067.

Miller’s fellow first-year Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Livonia)
reported $146,910, including $105,882 raised since July 1.

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