Friday, February 01, 2008

GOP, Dems to pour money into hot races

GOP, Dems to pour funds into 2 hot races

Voters in two congressional districts -- one in Oakland County and one that stretches from Washtenaw County to Battle Creek -- will be the focus of hotly contested, expensive races featuring veteran Democratic challengers against incumbent Republicans.

Former state Sen. Gary Peters, a Bloomfield Township Democrat, has raised more than $400,000 to challenge U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg of Bloomfield Township, but Knollenberg has raised three times as much -- about $1.4 million through Dec. 31, according to campaign finance reports filed Thursday

Peters had about $359,000 still available, while Knollenberg, who has represented the district cutting a wide swath across Oakland County since 1993, had more than $1 million available. Peters was the state's lottery commissioner before leaving to take a teaching post at Central Michigan University.

"This is a race that's going to have to be very well-funded. But raising money is not going to be an issue for us," said Peters' campaign spokeswoman, Julie Petrick.

Knollenberg, first elected in 1992, won by a 51%-47% margin in 2006 against Royal Oak Democrat Nancy Skinner. He spent $2.6 million on his 2006 race compared with Skinner's $364,000.

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