Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has accepted over $550,000 in superfluous donations, according to the Detroit News.
Whitmer, who is running for reelection in 2022, has received more than $4 million in excess campaign donations. This includes more than $550,000 over the legal limit as well as the $3.4 million she has received since July 20, The Detroit News reported.
State contribution limits allow donators, such as individuals and political action committees, to donate up to $7,150 to a candidate every election cycle, according to the outlet. However, Whitmer has taken several donations from at least 40 individuals that exceed the permitted amount, Fox News reported.
Some individuals include billionaire George Soros, Whitmer’s father Richard Whitmer, and vice chairman of the Detroit Pistons Arn Tellem.
“Our candidates would have raised even more if they were given the opportunity to play by the same corrupt rules as Gretchen Whitmer,” said Gustavo Portela, communications director of Michigan Republican Party, Detroit News reported. “We’ll continue to fight for fairness and give our candidates an even playing field.”
Whitmer’s campaign responded to local reports by saying that the fundraising was all legal because the governor had faced recall efforts, the outlet reported. Under Michigan law, elected officials can accept such contributions when facing a recall election, according to the Detroit News. (RELATED: Whitmer Apologizes For Violating Her Own Indoor Dining Restrictions)
A court filing on behalf of Secretary’s of State Jocelyn Benson’s office states that none of the recall petitions against Whitmer carried valid signatures during the 180 days that is required to begin a recall, according to Detroit News. No new petitions have been approved since September 2020.
The same court filing notes that if there is not an official recall petition by Jan. 1, 2022, the governor may have to return the excess contributions or willingly donate them to the Michigan Democratic Party.
Whitmer may face trouble in the future as state law states a recall bid cannot be introduced during a governor’s final year during their term, Fox News reported.
Whitmer currently has $12.6M in her re-election campaign, according to the Detroit News.