Skubick: Jackson House seat is expensive race

JACKSON, Mich (WLNS) – The candidates running for a Michigan House seat in Jackson have raised over $140,000, making it the second most expensive contest in the state.

Current Jackson Rep. Earl Poleski is term limited out of office thus creating what they call an open seat.

And open seats draw lots of candidates who try to raise lots of money which is exactly what’s happening right now.

“Open seats tend to be the ones where the races are close,” explains Craig Mauger of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. “It’s pretty much up in the air regarding votes.”

Republican candidate John Griffin was a lobbyist for the oil industry and he has relatives who once held this seat. He’s raised $92,000; $10,000 of his own money and money from Big Oil.

And he’s received contributions from his friends in the lobbying community.

It helps to have connections in Lansing. “I think it does,” adds Maugher. “That’s where the money is.”

Republican candidate Phil Tripp has raised only $1400 but has used $35,000 of his own money. Plus, he has name ID from all his body shot television commercials. Mauger says “they know Tripp because of those commercials they see all the time.”

Jackson County commissioner Julie Alexander with ties to the farming community has raised $37,000 including $10,000 from the Farm Bureau and from Rep. Peloski.

The lone Democrat running next week, Ron Brook, has raised $13,200 with $7400 of that coming from his own check book.

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