by Kerry Picket | April 17, 2020
U.S. Senate candidate John James, a Michigan Republican, raised more money than the Democratic incumbent he’s trying to beat in November, Sen. Gary Peters.
James, who is making a second attempt at the Senate, outraised Peters by around $753,000. James banked $4.82 million last quarter to Peters’s $4.07 million, according to Federal Election Commission records. The Republican candidate has nearly matched the incumbent’s cash on hand, with $8.58 million to $8.75 million. Additionally, many polls show Peters with a slim lead that is within the margin of error.
The Michigan Democrat, who serves as the ranking member on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, has managed to build up his name recognition over the past few months through his back-and-forth sparring with Republicans over issues pertaining to the Hunter Biden-related investigation spearheaded by committee Chairman Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican. Peters asserts the investigation is a partisan effort to derail the candidacy of presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, Hunter’s father.
James previously ran against the senior Democratic senator from Michigan, Debbie Stabenow, in 2018. Stabenow beat James by about 6 points, but his relatively strong showing came at a time when Democrats brought out their base to win the House majority, and James fared far better than his predecessors.
In 2012, Stabenow beat her Republican opponent, former Rep. Pete Hoekstra, by over 20 points and crushed her GOP opponent in 2006 by a 25-point spread.
The race between James and Peters will likely end up mirroring the statewide contest between President Trump and Joe Biden, as the Senate campaigns will take cues from their respective party leaders.
As of now, Trump and Biden remain in a close contest with one another in the state that the president won in 2016, helping to catapult him into the White House in a surprise victory.