Kildee Hasn’t Backed a Successor in Congress Yet, But Recently Donated Generously to One

Michigan Rep. Kildee (Credits: The Washington Post)

State Senator Kristen McDonald Rivet has amassed an impressive $825,000 in her bid for Congress, with an eye-catching contribution expected to be detailed in her upcoming quarterly fundraising report.

Among the numerous donations to the Bay City Democrat’s campaign, two stand out – both from the campaign funds of U.S. Representative Dan Kildee, D-Flint Twp. Kildee has generously contributed the maximum allowable amount of $14,000 to McDonald Rivet’s campaign.

Kildee’s decision not to seek re-election in the 8th Congressional District has left the field wide open, with no formal endorsement from him regarding his successor amidst a crowded Democratic primary race.

Kildee (Credits: dankildee.house.gov)

While Kildee has chosen not to comment directly on his contributions to McDonald Rivet, which include $10,000 from Michigan’s Future and $4,000 from Friends of Dan Kildee, his support speaks volumes about her candidacy.

Fundraising is expected to play a pivotal role for candidates in the 8th District, particularly following its redrawing after the 2020 census. With over $6.3 million spent by Kildee in the previous election and the race identified as one of the most competitive in the country, financial support is crucial.

McDonald Rivet’s campaign is set to disclose the details of her fundraising efforts, including the significant number of individual donations she has received, totaling approximately 1,500 contributions. Her campaign’s financial report will be submitted to the Federal Elections Commission later this month.

A Bay City commissioner since 2019, McDonald Rivet has demonstrated her political acumen by flipping her state senate district from Republican to Democrat in 2022.

Her extensive experience, including roles as executive director of the Michigan Head Start Association and chief strategy officer for the Michigan Health Improvement Alliance, has undoubtedly bolstered her candidacy.

State Senator McDonald Rivet (Credits: WEYI)

In addition to McDonald Rivet, the Democratic primary features known contenders such as Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley, former Flint Mayor Matt Collier, state Board of Education President Pamela Pugh, and Michigan Association of Conservation Districts Executive Director Dan Moilanen. On the Republican side, candidates include Paul Junge, Martin Blank, and Anthony Hudson.

With the quarterly campaign finance reports due soon, candidates are keen to showcase their fundraising prowess. Collier has reported raising over $300,000 within three weeks of announcing his campaign, while Junge leads in cash reserves, reporting $786,190 on hand as of January 1.

The lack of a Kildee on the ballot in the Flint area signifies a significant change in Michigan politics, bringing an end to a legacy that began in 1962. Continuing the path set by his uncle Dale Kildee, Dan Kildee’s time in office has made a lasting impact on the region’s political scene.