BY ANDREW DIETDERICH
LAPEER COUNTY — State Rep. Gary Glenn, R- Williams Twp., jumped out of the gates in the race for the 31st Senate District seat that represents Lapeer County, racking up about $80,000 in his first few days as a candidate.
That’s compared with the $1,975 his opponent, former Rep. Kevin Daley of Arcadia Township, raised for the entire three-month reporting period.
Per state law, both had to file campaign finance reports by Oct. 25 for the July 21 to Oct. 20 reporting period.
Daley announced his candidacy in March. Glenn announced his Oct. 13.
Both seek the seat currently held by Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, who is term-limited out of office in 2018. He also could vacate his seat early if a long-rumored appointment to director of Michigan’s U.S. Dept. of Agriculture rural development division ever comes to fruition.
An appointment could prompt Gov. Rick Snyder to call for a special election that could start with a special primary in early February.
The 31st District consists of Lapeer, Tuscola and Bay counties.
“I really wasn’t pushing the money the last two months,” Daley said Friday. “We have fundraisers scheduled now… we’re getting back into it.”
That isn’t to say Daley hasn’t been engaged in campaigning. He told The County Press he’s been attending various meetings with government officials throughout the district.
On Friday, he met with the CEOs of hospitals in Tuscola County.
Glenn did not return a call by press time Friday.
According to a press release issued by Glenn on Oct. 13, “Green may vacate the seat as soon as (November), a year before the end of his final term, if and when he receives a long-anticipated appointment to a position with the U.S. Department of Agriculture…”
Since early 2017, Green has been rumored next in line for the position of director of Michigan’s U.S. Dept. of Agriculture rural development division — a position appointed by President Donald Trump. Green publicly confirmed in May that was in the running for the job. If he doesn’t get it, he will be term-limited out of office in 2018.
Should Green be appointed, Glenn said Gov. Rick Snyder could either call for a special election in early 2018 or decide to let the Senate seat remain vacant until filled via the regularly scheduled election next November, leaving Lapeer County without a state senator for about a year.
At a Lapeer Tea Party meeting on Oct. 3 — and before announcing his candidacy — Glenn hinted at a run and told The County Press “You can’t afford to bet the wrong way if there is going to be a special election in February — that’s four months from now.”
“Senator Green is under instructions from the White House not to say anything, so he’s not going to tell you anything,” Glenn said Oct. 13. “But we think that appointment may be imminent, and there’s a reasonable expectation of a special election primary the first Tuesday in February.”
“We were planning to make this announcement one way or another,” Glenn said. “It just turns out that it’s going to be perfectly timed in terms of there being a potential vacancy in the near future.”
Daley announced his campaign in March when early rumors of Green’s potential employment became more well known.
As of Oct. 25, Daley had about $46,000 in his campaign coffer compared with Glenn’s almost $72,000.
During the quarter, Glenn transferred about $50,000 from his House of Representatives’ account. Other contributions totaled $32,450, with the largest — $5,000 — coming from Speaker of the House Tom Leonard’s political action committee.
He also received $5,000 from the Growth Liberty Enterprise Now Network PAC (GLENN PAC), which is Glenn’s independent PAC that received $8,525 for the reported period. Major contributors to the GLENN PAC were $5,000 from David Kepler of Sanford, $1,000 from Mary Ann Galic of Traverse City, $1,000 from Comcast PAC, $1,000 from Lee Mueller of Edenville, and $500 from William Stockhausen of Northville.
He also received contributions of $1,000 from Gerald Gora of Bloomfield Hills, $1,000 from Tom Swatzel of Murrells Inlet, S.C., David Dittenber of Freeland, Susie Swatzel of Murrells Inlet, S.C., William Washabaugh of Bay City, Alan Gurski of Bay City, George Galic of Traverse City, Michigan Action Committee for Rural Electrification, and the Michigan Chamber PAC.
Of 84 individuals and organizations identified in Glenn’s campaign report, none were listed as being from Lapeer County.
Daley received contributions of $1,000 from Paula Proctor of Lapeer, $500 from the Stamas Leadership Fund, $250 from Kevin Green, supervisor, Algoma Township, and $225 from Todd Muir, owner, Muir Brothers Funeral.