Gretchen Whitmer takes early fundraising lead in Democrat race for governor

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DETROIT (AP) (1/5/2018) - Michigan Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer raised $3 million last year for her campaign.

The campaign released the figure Friday. The filing deadline is Jan. 31.

Spokesman Annie Ellison says the money raised in 2017 comes from more than 9,000 donors. Whitmer is considered the front-runner in the Democratic primary and has endorsements from labor unions and others.

Democratic candidate Abdul Al-Sayed has not yet released his numbers. He raised $1.6 million as of October.

Democrat Shri Thanedar, a businessman whose campaign is almost entirely self-funded, had nearly $5.7 million last fall. Thanedar tells The Associated Press he will release his figures when he files his report.

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder cannot run again due to term limits. GOP candidates are Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, state Attorney General Bill Schuette, Dr. Jim Hines and state Sen. Patrick Colbeck.

Michigan's primary election is scheduled for Aug. 7.

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