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2018 Election becomes most expensive in Michigan history

Mark Gunn

The 2018 midterm election was the most expensive in Michigan history - according to the Michigan Campaign Finance Network.

The numbers aren’t even final yet - campaigns have until late January to submit their final spending reports.

Craig Mauger is with the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, which tracks political spending. He said this year’s midterm displaced 2012 as the most expensive election in state history.

“We’ve tracked $291 million which is a record amount even when you factor in inflation to past totals.”

That’s nearly $30 million more than was spent in 2012.

Mauger said midterm elections tend to be the most expensive.

“In a midterm election at the state level, you have the governor, secretary of state, attorney general, and state senate. In a presidential year, you don’t have any of those elections on the state ballot.”

He said in Michigan’s two most expensive U.S. House races, over half the money came from outside groups.

“So these are groups that are spending independently of the candidate's campaign. They may be raising some of their money from in-state but anecdotally a lot of the biggest ones are raising their money from outside the state and then pouring it in.”

Mauger said in the coming weeks, his organization will be looking at where the money came from, focusing on things like out of state and so-called “dark” money.