WASHINGTON (Detroit Free Press) -- Businessman Brian Ellis loaned his campaign another $200,000 this month as his challenge to U.S. Rep. Justin Amash -- to be decided in less than two weeks -- draws to a close.
Outside funding that could have aided his challenge of Amash, a west Michigan Republican who has made political enemies of some of his party's most powerful allies in the state and nationally, has yet to materialize -- a likely indication of Amash's continued polling strength in the district.
Ellis isn't giving up without a fight, however: In a pre-primary report filed with the Federal Election Commission on Thursday, he reported spending more than $216,000 in the first two weeks of the month, much of it on TV and fliers to people living in Michigan's 3rd Congressional District.
The Republican primary is Aug. 5.
Ellis has loaned himself a total of $1 million to date, making him one of the top 10 self-funders in the nation, but he has also raised nearly $700,000 more and went into the last few weeks of the campaign with more than $450,000 in cash.
Amash of Cascade Township had more -- nearly $770,000 in cash -- but had spent less in the first two weeks of the month, slightly less than $100,000. A Free Press poll done in June showed Amash, running for his third two-year term, with a commanding 20-percentage-point lead.
But that poll was done before Ellis, a former school board member in the Grand Rapids area, had notched some of his most significant endorsements, including those from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the state Chamber of Commerce and Right to Life of Michigan.
None of those groups have put money into the race as yet, however, while Amash has been the benefeciary of hundreds of thousands of dollars in support from the conservative Club for Growth.
Amash has alienated many mainstream Republican groups by taking positions often at odds with his party's leadership in the U.S. House.