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Campaign funding for the 3rd District: Peter Meijer leads the pack

Here's a look at how much money each candidate has raised in the first quarter.
Credit: WZZM

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Despite the coronavirus pandemic, candidates vying for the Third Congressional district seat in Michigan raised a considerable amount of money within the first quarter of 2020. 

The campaign finance report covers Jan. 1 to March 31, and the contributions were outlined in reports, which show contributions from individuals, political committees and loans, which were submitted to the Federal Election Commission. 

Here's a look at how much money each candidate has raised in the first quarter:

INDEPENDENTS

U.S. Rep. Justin Amash
Raised: $96,845
Total cash on hand: $644,622
Total raised: $1,137,238

Amash, who has represented the 3rd District since 2011, out raised his competitors in 2019, even after leaving the GOP. Amash said this week he "paused" his congressional campaign in mid-February.

RELATED: Justin Amash expected to announce decision on presidential run soon

The congressman hinted at a run for the White House earlier this week, after President Donald Trump said he has "total" authorities over lifting state's stay at home restrictions. Amash is expected to make an announcement on his decision soon. 

REPUBLICANS

Peter Meijer
Raised: $352,952
Total cash on hand: $634,224
Total raised: $1,076,426

Meijer, who is a Grand Rapids business executive and grandson of Meijer founder Hendrik Meijer, paused all "political activity" to start Operation FRED in mid-March. Operation FRED is a coronavirus relief program delivering food to vulnerable individuals.

RELATED: Peter Meijer campaign delivers 10,000 meals to individuals vulnerable to COVID-19

State Rep. Lynn Afendoulis
Raised: $189,572
Total cash on hand: $248,273
Total raised: $461,845

Afendoulis is a first-term state representative. She represents Grand Rapids.

Both Meijer and Afendoulis have filed their petition signatures to be on the ballot.

Other Republicans campaigning for the seat who reported less than $10,000 include: 

  • Sand Lake Village President Tom Norton
  • Andrew Jackson Willis, a pastor in Wyoming
  • Lyons Village Trustee Joe Farrington 
  • Battle Creek Attorney Emily Rafi

DEMOCRATS

Hillary Scholten
Raised: $151,646
Total cash on hand: $259,032
Total raised: $518,360

Scholten is an immigration attorney who served in the Justice Department during the Obama administration. 

The 3rd Congressional district covers a large portion of West Michigan, including Ionia, Barry, and Calhoun counties and portions of Kent and Montcalm counties. Grand Rapids is the biggest metropolitan area in the district.

The seat has been filed by a Republican since 1993 -- up until Amash left the party in 2019. 

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