Millionaire gubernatorial candidate Kevin Rinke leads pack of Republicans in campaign cash

Feb 1, 2022 at 11:15 am
click to enlarge Republican Kevin Rinke is running for governor. - Rinke campaign
Rinke campaign
Republican Kevin Rinke is running for governor.

Millionaire metro Detroit businessman Kevin Rinke has the largest campaign war chest among Republicans running for governor.

Nearly all of Rinke’s $2 million in campaign funds are from his own pocket, according to campaign finance records from Oct. 21 to Dec. 31.

Rinke, of Bloomfield Township, has pledged to spend at least $10 million of his own money on a campaign that pits him against 12 other Republicans.

Rinke will need all the help he can get. Early polls show former Detroit Police Chief James Craig leading the pack of Republicans.

Craig raised nearly $608,000 in the last period of 2o21 and spent more than $725,000. He’s raised more than $2 million since his campaign began in July.

He said he received an additional $200,000 in January.

“I’m excited for the team we have in place and where we are positioned in this race," Craig said in a statement. "I'm deeply appreciative for all those who are investing in our campaign. I'm grateful to have the support and confidence of so many as momentum continues to build behind our movement."

After an early jump out of the gates, Craig has lost momentum, and his previous consultant John Job joined the campaign of a competitor, Bloomfield Hills businessman Perry Johnson. Johnson’s campaign officially kicked off this week, so he didn’t raise any money last year.

During the final period of 2021, chiropractor and conspiracy theorist Garret Soldano, of Mattawan, raised nearly $252,000 and spent $315,195. He had more than $315,000 on hand.

Tudor Dixon, a former conservative online news host, raised more than $185,000 and spent nearly $228,000. His campaign had $96,259 left over.

Michael Brown, Michigan State Police commander, raised more than $131,000 during the same period, most of which came from his own pocket. He had $129,223 on hand.

The remaining candidates raised less than $20,000.

Whoever wins in the August primary will face a well-funded Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. She raised $2.4 million and had $9.9 million available during the final 72 days of 2021.

In other statewide races, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, outraised her GOP opponents. During the final period of 2021, she raised $412,356 and had $1.4 million on hand.

Kristina Karamo, an Oak Park Republican who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, raised $64,000 and had $133,000 available.

Other Republican candidates for secretary of state, Chesterfield Township Clerk Cindy Berry and state Rep. Beau LaFave, of Iron Mountain, each raised less than $15,000.

In the attorney general race, Republican candidate Tom Leonard, a former state House speaker, raised $283,481 and had nearly $666,000 on hand at the end of 2021.

Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, raised nearly $278,000 during the same period and had $1.6 million available.

“These numbers show two things we’ve been saying for months — Dana Nessel is the most vulnerable Democrat on the ticket in 2022, and I am the best chance Republicans have to beat her,” Leonard said in a statement. “Our campaign has been met with overwhelming support and enthusiasm from day one, and I am excited to continue building this team and gathering support over the coming months. We’re not just building the only serious Republican campaign to hold Dana Nessel accountable, we are building the strongest campaign from either party to win in November.”

Secretary of state candidate Matthew DePerno, who was endorsed by Trump, did not file his campaign finance report by the deadline Monday.

State Rep. Ryan Berman, who also is running for secretary of state, raised more than $100,000 and had about $279,000 on hand.

Stay connected with Detroit Metro Times. Subscribe to our newsletters, and follow us on Google News, Apple News, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Reddit.