The Associated Press July 12, 2011, 8:22PM ET

Sen. Stabenow has $4M on hand for re-election race

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow raised nearly $1.5 million during the second three months of the year and had $4 million in the bank for her 2012 re-election bid at the end of June, according to a campaign finance report her campaign is filing with the Federal Elections Commission.

The Associated Press on Tuesday obtained a copy of the Michigan Democrat's July quarterly report, which is due to the FEC by Friday.

In it, the Stabenow for U.S. Senate Committee reports the 61-year-old chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee raised $1.46 million in the April 1 to June 30 period and had $4.08 million on hand in her run for a third term.

Stabenow first was elected in 2000 and won a second term in 2006 by a comfortable margin.

She was expected to face a tougher challenge in 2012, two years after state Democrats suffered deep losses, a result that emboldened Republicans to believe they would unseat Stabenow. But no high-profile candidate has emerged, although several possible contenders are weighing getting in.

Among those considering a run is Clark Durant, president of the New Common School Foundation in Detroit. He returned Tuesday evening from a trip to Washington, D.C., where he conferred with GOP Senate campaign leaders about the race and fundraising.

"I think this is going to be a $15 million race," Durant said, expressing no surprise that Stabenow had $4 million in the bank. "But it's also a time in which people are very fed up with the current political establishment and they want change. So money will not be the sole determinant at all."

Durant hasn't decided if he'll run, noting he had tried to persuade others to jump in before being asked by close friends to consider his own candidacy.

"I'm just weighing the different options I've got," he said.

Former Kent County Probate Judge Randy Hekman and Roscommon businessman Peter Konetchy are both running in the GOP race, although neither raised much money in the first quarter. Hekman had $28,000 on hand through the end of March and Konetchy had $1,700. Both were expected to report their second-quarter totals by Friday's deadline.

Former Michigan Republican Chairman Saul Anuzis decided against running, but said recently that Oakland County Drain Commissioner John McCullough and cardiologist Rob Steele, along with Durant, are weighing the race.

Better-known politicians such as former U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra of Holland and ex-Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land have decided against challenging Stabenow. GOP U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter of Livonia bypassed the Senate race and instead is running for president.

Michigan Republican Party executive director Stu Sandler said recently that he's not worried about the race remaining fluid.

"There's plenty of time for a candidate to get in," Sandler told reporters. "Any one of the names I've been hearing could beat Debbie Stabenow."

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Associated Press Writer Kathy Barks Hoffman contributed to this story from Lansing, Mich.

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Mike Householder can be reached at http://twitter.com/mikehouseholder

Kathy Barks Hoffman can be reached at http://twitter.com/kathybhoffman


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