Rural Election Watch: Michigan’s Seventh District
By Sean Reagan
According to FEC filings, for the period running April 1 through July 16, Walberg raised just under $370,000 while Schauer raked in nearly $430,000.
The numbers are consistent with those from the entire election cycle. Schauer has $1.3 million to Walberg’s $1.2 million. Schauer also has a slight lead in terms of cash on hand, $930,000 to $860,000.
The two are vying to represent the state’s seventh district – five counties plus parts of two others making up Michigan’s southern-tier farmland. The area is traditionally Republican – Bush won in both 00 and 04 – but Clinton carried the region by small pluralities in ’92 and ’96.
Schauer, a Michigan native, was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 1996 and to the Senate in 2002. As his early fundraising numbers indicate, he’s a popular and well-known figure in Michigan politics.
Schauer’s legislative track record has endeared him to Michigan voters – he’s helped companies such as Kellogg’s, Duncan Aviation, Sparton Corporation and Eaton Aerospace save and in some cases boost local jobs. He also worked closely with former Congressman Joe Schwarz to help save the Battle Creek Air National Guard base.
Walberg, on the other hand, appears to have little interest in local issues. Funded in large part by the right-wing Club for Growth, he took down Schwarz in a vicious primary battle in ’06. since then, he’s gone on to vote against increasing the minimum wage, opposing the expansion of health care to 4.1 million uninsured kids, and pushing for the privatization of social security.
Nobody’s saying that Schauer’s going to coast to victory. But Democrats are optimistic with good reason. The contest is one of the 31 races the DCCC plans to highlight with some $35 million in ad buys come fall.
Posted on July 28th, 2008 by seanreagan
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