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Buying Time 2020 – Michigan

This page features Michigan Supreme Court television advertisements from the 2020 election cycle.

Last Updated: November 11, 2020
Published: October 2, 2020

Two seats on the Michigan Supreme Court were up for election on November 3, 2020.  In Michigan, candidates are nominated through a partisan process before running in a general election in which party affiliation does not appear on the ballot. All candidates compete in one election and two candidates who receive the most votes will serve eight-year terms on the court. The candidates include Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack (D), who is running for another term on the court, Court of Appeals judge Brock Swartzle (R), and attorneys Mary Kelly (R), Kerry Lee Morgan (L), Katherine Mary Nepton (L), and Elizabeth Welch (D). Justice Stephen Markman is not eligible for re-election after reaching the state’s mandatory retirement age in 2019. McCormack and Welch both won seats on the court.

Kantar Media/CMAG: Estimated Total TV Spending: $1,459,420 *

  • Estimated spending by Justice for All PAC: $156,350
  • Estimated spending by Bridget Mary McCormack and Elisabeth Welch: $1,141,040
  • Estimated spending by Michigan Chamber of Commerce: $62,900
  • Estimated spending by Progress Michigan Political Action Fund: $53,520
  • Estimated spending by Elizabeth Welch: $45,610

*Spending figures last updated November 10, 2020

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September 15 – Fighting for Justice

Stream video (QT)

This ad says “Michigan faces critical challenges. McCormack and Welch have the experience and integrity for the fair and impartial courts we need.”

Sponsor: Bridget Mary McCormack and Elizabeth Welch

Estimated Spending: $609,930


October 1 – Independent

Stream video (QT)

This ad endorses Bridget Mary McCormack and Elizabeth Welch for Michigan Supreme Court, saying that both will “stand up to corporate corruption, protect women’s reproductive freedom, and fight for justice for everyone.”

Sponsor: Justice for All PAC

Estimated Spending: $109,100


October 20 – Going to Court

Stream video (QT)

In this ad, Bridget Mary McCormack and Elizabeth Welch say “going to court usually means something’s gone wrong. To get it right, we need independent courts that work for everybody.”

Sponsor: Bridget Mary McCormack and Elizabeth Welch

Estimated Spending: $531,110


October 21 – Covid Hit Michigan Hard

Stream video (QT)

This ad says that “Covid hit Michigan hard, and Gov. Whitmore’s response saved lives. But now, the Republican controlled state supreme court threatens to set us back” and goes on to endorse Bridget Mary McCormack and Elizabeth Welch for Michigan Supreme Court.

Sponsor: Justice for All PAC

Estimated Spending: $47,250


October 21 – Todays Age

Stream video (QT)

This ad says that “there are experienced prosecutors like Mary Kelly who have protected children” and to “tell Mary Kelly to keep protecting children”

Sponsor: Michigan Chamber of Commerce

Estimated Spending: $62,900


October 22 – Justice Ginsburg

Stream video (QT)

This ad features a clip of former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg saying “we are not experiencing the best of times. But there’s a reason to hope that we will see a better day.” It goes on to endorse Bridget Mary McCormack and Elizabeth Welch for Michigan Supreme Court.

Sponsor: Progress Michigan Political Action Fund

Estimated Spending: $43,580


October 28 – Faces Critical Issues

Stream video (QT)

In this ad, Elizabeth Welch says “I’ve fought for schools, small businesses, and workers. Everybody deserves a voice.”

Sponsor: Elizabeth Welch

Estimated Spending: $45,610


October 22 – Who She Really Is

Stream video (QT)

This ad says “Mary Kelly worked to fire a loyal long-time employee for refusing to back her candidacy for judge. She took a job at the same court where her husband was chief judge raising questions of nepotism. A $291,770 taxpayer-funded position. Can we trust Mary Kelly?”

Sponsor: Progress Michigan Political Action Fund

Estimated Spending: $9,940