---- — DETROIT (AP) — Gary Peters, a Detroit-area congressman who wants to be Michigan’s next U.S. senator, is wealthy with a portfolio full of blue chip stocks as well as tax-free bonds issued by local governments, according to his latest financial disclosure report.
The Oakland County Democrat had assets worth at least $970,000 and possibly as high as $3.9 million at the end of 2012, according to his recently released report. Members of Congress are not required to be specific, only to put values in certain ranges, so it’s impossible to determine his net worth unless he volunteers it.
Although Peters is a former state lawmaker and ex-lottery director, he’s not well-known outside the Detroit area. The report puts some texture on a politician who appears to be the leading Democratic candidate in the 2014 Senate race. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., is retiring.
Besides his $174,000 House salary, Peters collected dividends and interest from a bushel of investments, including General Electric, AT&T, Procter & Gamble, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical, McDonald’s, JP Morgan Chase and Wal-Mart Stores. He held bonds issued by school districts, cities and counties, from the Detroit water department to tiny Parchment, near Kalamazoo.
Peters, 54, also listed retirement investments held by his wife.
“With three children, one who’s just starting college this fall and the youngest who will be applying to colleges soon, my wife and I share the same concerns as other families in terms of saving for our children’s education and our own retirement,” Peters said in a statement Thursday.
“Our finances are public information, and we both believe in transparency in government,” he said.
Former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Land of Kent County announced in June that she’s seeking the Republican nomination for Senate. She, too, must file a financial disclosure form but it’s not available yet.
Peters, who is serving his third term in Congress, listed just one debt, a home-equity loan in the range of $10,001 to $15,000. He was a financial adviser for two decades before beginning his career in government.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., reported $61,379 in pension payments from the state of Michigan. She reported no additional assets but said she has mortgages and a credit line in a range of $600,003 to $1.25 million. Members of Congress are not required to disclose the value of their homes.
Levin, however, was specific. He said he and his wife own land in Livingston County valued at $315,666. Their home in Washington is worth more than $500,000, and a rental unit that’s part of the residence produced $15,600 before expenses.
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