Two state rep. candidates must return ‘excess’ funds

Angela Rigas
Rachelle Smit

Two local candidates for state representative in Tuesday’s primary election have not returned excessive campaign funds from former President Donald Trump’s Save America PAC, according to campaign finance reports.

Bridge Michigan included 43rd District candidate Rachelle Smit of Martin and 79th District candidate Angela Rigas on the list of nine for having not returned excess of permitted contributions.

Save America by law can only give state senate candidates $2,100 each to state senate hopefuls and $1,050 apiece to state rep. candidates. Bridge Michigan reported that The PAC gave $5,000 each to nine candidates’ campaigns in December, but state law insists that $33,450 of that $45,000 must be regarded as excessive funds and be returned.

The Secretary of State’s office said that in light of the campaign finance reports filed earlier this week, the department will reach out to campaigns that received excessive contributions.

Rigas, a Kent County resident is a Trump-endorsed candidate in the 79th District, which includes Leighton Township. Smit, who is Martin Township Clerk, is one of four candidates in the 43rd District, which takes in all of the rest of the Townbroadcast coverage area.

Also on the list is Jon Rocha, a Marine veteran running as a write-in candidate for state House, who disrupted a Wayland Board of Education meeting a year ago.

The primary election is scheduled for 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2.


  • Why is it we only here negative reports about Republican politicos?
    I did not see your report on this:
    “Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has amassed nearly $4 million in excess campaign contributions for her 2022 reelection bid, reports showed late Monday.
    But Whitmer has accepted donations from at least 40 individuals who gave more than the traditionally permitted amount – including Timothy Light of Kalamazoo and William Parfet of Hickory Corners, who each contributed more than $50,000 over the last three months, first reported The Detroit News.

    Since July, the governor has reportedly received $550,000 in over-the-limit donations from top contributors like her father, Richard Whitmer, George Soros, and vice chairman of the Detroit Pistons, Arn Tellem.”

    News journalists are thought to be and should be impartial in their reporting. Something I frequently find lacking in your reporting political stories. Not once have you used ink to report on the sad state of the Biden Presidency, but continue to bash Trump, who no longer holds office. What’s that about?

    No wonder the integrity of the press is questioned, especially when it comes to politics. And you are not unique in that regard. What a sorry state of affairs.

    • My primary mission at Townbroadcast is to report news about local people (politicians). The two state representative candidates mentioned in this story both seek offices covering this area.

  • Anything to do with Trump is crooked . I hope the so called Christians return that money . I still cant believe so called Christians accept funds from a liar and cheat!!

    • Christians are not the problem. So called Christians are . Anything for a buck. If you have no merit on your own dont run and dont accept money from someone that has no reason to be in state politics. Only a crook trying to be a big shot.

      • Dennis
        My guess is you never ran for any office. It takes money to run even at the local level. Money talks….
        What is your criteria for someone not being involved in state politics? You do realize there are foreign companies here in Michigan that are concerned with who’s in office might affect their business.
        Religion isn’t a basis for business or politics…. like it or not, we’re both are in a dog eat dog world.

        • Your guess is wrong. I ran for Leighton Township Clerk. It does cost money. My criteria for being involved in state politics is live in that state. Like it or not, religion is a big part of politics nowadays!

          • Boo hoo….perhaps you could cry us a river already? Were you elected ? If not, I wonder why.

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