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Posted on Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

Ouimet leads the way in campaign fundraising with more than $111K on hand

By Ryan J. Stanton

State Rep. Mark Ouimet, R-Scio Township, has more than $111,600 on hand for the 2012 election cycle, according to new campaign finance reports.

With election season picking up, candidates throughout Washtenaw County are raising and spending thousands on their campaigns.

Ouimet reported raising more than $125,400, making him the second most successful Michigan House lawmaker in funds raised this election cycle.


Mark Ouimet

Ouimet, who is seeking a second term representing the 52nd District, gave more than $60,000 of his own money to his campaign. He has spent more than $43,800.

Saline Mayor Gretchen Driskell is considering running against Ouimet as a Democrat but hasn't reported raising any money.

State Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, has raised a little more than $8,200 and spent about $6,500 since January 2011 in his effort to seek a second term representing the 53rd District.

So far no challengers for Irwin's seat have emerged. Counting money previously raised, Irwin now has about $11,200 on hand.

State Rep. David Rutledge, D-Superior Township, has about $6,500 on hand and is currently running unopposed.

Since January 2011, he has raised nearly $14,600 and has spent more than $8,300 in his effort to seek a second term representing the 54th District in eastern Washtenaw County.

Candidates were required to file campaign finance reports with the Michigan Secretary of State on Jan. 31 disclosing campaign funds raised in 2011.

Adam Zemke, a Democrat from Ann Arbor, out-raised his opponents in the race for the 55th District House seat with more than $20,100, including $10,000 from his own pocket. He has spent virtually none of that money and still has more than $20,000 on hand.

Ann Arbor resident Bob Davidow, another Democratic candidate facing off against Zemke in the August primary, raised $2,146. He now has $2,041 on hand.

Rep. Rick Olson, the incumbent Republican who currently represents the 55th District, reported raising $14,944 and spent $11,656. He now has $3,828 on hand.

Campaign finance reports for candidates for local races for the Ann Arbor City Council and Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners are available on the county's website.

The reports show a battle is heating up for the open 7th District seat on the county board with Ann Arbor resident Andy LaBarre having raised $5,440 to Christina Montague's $1,282. The 7th District is on the east side of Ann Arbor.

Montague's campaign is self-funded. Except for $1,000 of his own money, LaBarre raised his money from donors including County Commissioner Leah Gunn, former County Commissioner Kristin Judge, Sheriff Jerry Clayton, Road Commissioner Doug Fuller and others.

Newly appointed County Commissioner Felicia Brabec, a Democrat from Pittsfield Township who is set to face off against Republican Richard Conn in a special May 8 election, signed a waiver indicating she planned to raise and spend less than $1,000 and so did Conn.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.


Chase Ingersoll

Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 8:26 p.m.

Ryan: &quot;So far no challengers for Irwin's seat have emerged....&quot; Ryan dear, I don't recall giving a concession speech in 2010, so accordingly, I would maintain that one who has never left the battlefield, need not be considered as not having emerged or &quot;re-emerged. So rest assured that absent the Grand Old Party finding some other valiant fellow, or madame, ready to sally forth and descend into the leftist hell hole that is the 53rd District, and dream the impossible dream, I shall, for you Ann Arbor are my Dulcinea! <a href="" rel='nofollow'>;feature=related</a> Chase Ingersoll


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 5:01 p.m.

Thank goodness for individuals like Mr. Ouimet...willing to give of his time and money, to work for everyone else. I'm so sick of hearing people bash folks for working hard, reaping the benefits, then giving back to the community. It saddens me that this community is so full of freeloaders.... The few like Mark Ouimet make it possible for the masses to live comfortably, peacefully....and enjoying maximal benefit from minimal taxes.


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 5:14 p.m.

Let me add one more then, His voting record is terrible.


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 2:34 a.m.

If there was ever a wolf in sheep's clothing... Thankfully Mark can't continue to play the goold-old-boy everybody's friend while in office. He actually has to show his cards and vote.

Michigan Man

Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 2:03 a.m.

Mark Ouimet getting it done in fine fashion for Ann Arborites and the residents of Washtenaw county. Where do I send my campaign contribution?


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 10:55 p.m.

I like Mark, BUT in our democracy should the deepest pockets really assure an automatic win?? Something wrong here.


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 10:24 p.m.

Ann Arborites need to pull together and contribute and volunteer to keep Mark Ouimet in office. We were able to beat Susan Green last election with a vigorous campaign that left her a bit red-faced. No doubt its going to be a close race and the Democrats are going to be gunning to get this seat back under their control.


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 2:11 p.m.

I hope ,I hope,throw the republicans out of office.


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 9:37 p.m.

Having known Mark for years, I always thought he was an independent thinker. So I voted for him. Simply put he has been &quot;lock step&quot; with the Gov. Mark could give me all $111,000 and he still would not get my vote this time around.


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 1:46 a.m.

Couldn't agree more. Really disappointing.

monroe c

Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 9:25 p.m.

He would've had even more money in his campaign fund, but he had to reimburse the county $14,386. <a href=""></a>


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 9:18 p.m.

Doesn't matter who we get anywhere in politics, they all end up doing as they please. It's all about the money to them and that's all that counts any more. Cookycrumb

Morris Thorpe

Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 8:22 p.m.

Gave 60K of his own money for a job that pays $$71,650 annually. Real good political system we've got going here.


Thu, Feb 23, 2012 : 1:20 p.m.

things that make you go, Hmmmm... @Harry, I didn't see any accusations in Morris' comment. Why so defensive?


Wed, Feb 15, 2012 : 6:22 p.m.

Maybe his meap math scores were not to good.

Chase Ingersoll

Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 11:58 p.m.

It's designed to intimidate or scare off contenders who might be competitive, but who would be intimidated by those kind of numbers. In the circle of higher rollers who can get elected, this move of showing money usually results in getting money as people want to bet on a winner. I don't like it. But that's the way it is and for many voters it works. Look how many have said Romney was the likely nominee, and how many possible Republicans did not get in the presidential primary because Romney flashed deep pockets. So yes, I am finding the Rick S. guerrilla campaign interesting. Chase Ingersoll


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 9:38 p.m.

Ah, yes, &quot;How To Serve Man.&quot;


Tue, Feb 14, 2012 : 8:55 p.m.

He's obviously not doing it for the money. Maybe he is doing it to serve his fellow man. Don't make assumption or accusations unless you can back it up.