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Money is flowing into Michigan's Supreme Court election

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

A watchdog group says $1.2 million has been spent on TV ads in Michigan’s Supreme Court judge races this year and more money is flowing in.

Michigan has three seats on the court on next month’s ballot.

Candidates have spent just under a million dollars themselves.   The Michigan Republican Party recently spent $200,000 to boost three GOP candidates.

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
Justice Brian Zahra (center) speaks during a recent Republican Party rally in Livonia. Justice David Viviano (left) and Kent County Circuit Judge James Robert Redford listen.

Laurie Kinney is with Justice at Stake.    She says spending is rising as Election Day draws closer.

“Michiganders can expect to see many more of these ads before Election Day finally rolls around in November,” says Kinney. 

Kinney expects third party groups will spend heavily on TV ads during the final weeks of the campaign.  

A new poll shows incumbent Justice Brian Zahra is trailing in his race for reelection.

Pollster Edward Sarpolus says a survey of 600 likely voters shows 33% support Democrat Richard Bernstein, 16% Republican James Robert Redford and 13% support Republican Justice Brian Zahra.    The top two vote getters will be elected to 8 year terms on the high court.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.