You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Fri, Oct 26, 2012 : 7:38 p.m.

Washtenaw County's top fund-raisers for the 2012 election cycle bring in big money

By Ryan J. Stanton

Related story: Ouimet, Driskell pouring campaign money into 52nd District race for State House

Far more than $1 million has been pumped into political campaigns in Washtenaw County during the 2012 election cycle and the fund raising and spending hasn't stopped.

Here's a look at some of the top fund-raisers based on the latest campaign finance reports that were due Friday.

The following shows the cumulative totals for various candidates and ballot committees, with the amounts raised during the most recent reporting period shown in parentheses. The cumulative figures also include late contributions that have been reported as of Friday.

  • 52nd District state Rep. Mark Ouimet — $382,082 ($110,225)
  • 52nd District candidate Gretchen Driskell — $180,104 ($96,379)
  • Circuit Judge Tim Connors — $103,679 ($100,279)
  • Judicial candidate Carol Kuhnke — $97,824 ($53,281)
  • Judicial candidate Jim Fink — $95,680 ($38,641)
  • Our New Downtown Library — $79,829 ($72,255)
  • 55th District candidate Adam Zemke — $52,126 ($9,575)
  • County Sheriff Jerry Clayton — $38,973 ($7,003)
  • 54th District state Rep. David Rutledge — $32,670 ($5,620)
  • County Board candidate Andy LaBarre — $28,655 ($145)
  • 53rd District state Rep. Jeff Irwin — $27,542 ($5,646)
  • Citizens for Art in Public Places — $19,711 ($19,011)
  • Water Resources Commissioner candidate Evan Pratt — $17,045 ($200)

Here's a look at where those candidates stand with cash on hand:

  • Driskell — $92,810 and no debt owed
  • Ouimet — $77,257 and $74,462 in debt owed
  • Clayton — $45,992 and no debt owed
  • Kuhnke — $34,404 and $5,000 in debt owed
  • Our New Downtown Library — $23,096 and no debt owed
  • Fink — $21,417 and $5,000 in debt owed
  • Irwin — $13,663 and no debt owed
  • Connors — $10,324 and $4,173 in debt owed
  • Zemke — $10,276 and $7,000 in debt owed
  • Rutledge — $9,645 and $29,746 in debt owed
  • Pratt — $1,936 and no debt owed
  • Citizens for Art in Public Places — $1,776 and no debt owed
  • LaBarre — $142 and no debt owed



Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 2:28 p.m.

One might ask themselves what is Judge Connor's afraid of to have to spend so much money on his relection? Connor's is afraid of loosing that is why he is spending so much money because his record should not save him. Judge Connors has no ethics or conscience. Judge Connors bullies counsel for the client not represented by anyone of his fellow good ole boys. He does not allowing evidence and testimony from counsel not favored by him or clients without counsel. Connors 20 year reign of power needs to be replaced with someone that is not intimidated by the toxic legal community that currently exists in his Washtenaw County Courtroom.


Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 6 p.m.

Jim Fink is clearly the superior candidate. He has the endorsement of many police and court officer organizations and I am happy to say that he won the August primary with an approximate 11% margin over Carol Kuhnke. I am confident he will have the support of voters this November.

Ryan J. Stanton

Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 2:42 a.m.

While 41.4% of the vote went to Fink in the primary, 58.4% went to the three Democrats who were running. Kuhnke, one of those three Democrats, took 29.8% of the overall vote. That means 28.6% of people voted for two Democrats no longer in the running. It'll be interesting to see how much of that 28.6% shifts to Kuhnke and how much shifts to Fink.

Basic Bob

Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 4:08 p.m.

Zemke is coasting at this point. He had virtually no competition in the primary and won handily. He will probably do even better in the general election, not because of his leadership, vision, message, or experience, but simply because he was given a gift by the redistricting process and a PAC war chest. Mr. Zemke, please remember the little people when you get to Lansing.

Dog Guy

Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 1:58 p.m.

Marking the straight party item on your ballot doesn't automatically cast votes in judicial contests. Does Michigan need another constitutional amendment on the ballot or can Ann Arbor's boss and his council make it so?

Great Lakes Lady

Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 12:40 p.m.

Does it really matter? This is an overwhelmingly Democratic county. People here blindly vote for an 86 year old Congressman who inherited the job from his father 56 years ago solely because he's a Democrat. His father had the job for 22 years. Sounds like a monarchy. Question: will his wife or one of his children get the job in the future when he decides not to run? He lost the chairmanship of the Energy and Commerce Committee. No matter. Clearly the person running against him has no money and is not listed.

David Cahill

Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 12:03 a.m.

It's interesting that Jim Fink, who pretends to be nonpartisan, received his largest contribution (after himself) from the Michigan Republican Party. So much for nonpartisanship.


Fri, Nov 2, 2012 : 2:36 p.m.

As far as I am concern it would be nice if all judges were nonpartisan but the US for the most part has a two part system. Did Judge Connor only take money from Republicans? He is os afraid after 20 years of loosing his set he would take money from "anyone."


Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 4:37 a.m.

@Tom Wieder - You might want to do your own research before calling something a lie. Kuhnke has advocated changing governmental policies from the bench. That's pretty much the definition of politics. Don't take my word for it. Inform yourself before election day.

Tom Wieder

Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 3:50 a.m.

@bbb-I challenge you to support your statement that Carol Kuhnke "has explicitly said that politics should factor into judicial decisions." That's a lie. She has never said any such thing. Fink is hoping that voters will ignore his extreme right-wing political associations and supporters, such as Right to Life and the Finance Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Anyone who pays any attention to our courts knows that judges interpret and apply the law through the lens of their own experience, perspective and viewpoints. Fink doesn't want Washtenaw's Democratic, progressive, pro-choice voters to notice how out-of-step he is with their perspective and viewpoints.


Sat, Oct 27, 2012 : 3:30 a.m.

It might be less that Jim Fink is "partisan" and more that the other candidate is an outspoken Democrat. His opponent has explicitly said that politics should factor in to judicial decisions. Fink has said that politics shouldn't and rulings should be based on the rule of law alone. Who did you expect the Republican party to support in such a match-up, the outspoken partisan Democrat?