Democrat Elissa Slotkin moved into home of lobbyist, campaign donor to run in new district

By | September 9, 2022

Fox News Digital has learned that Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., recently moved into a Lansing, Michigan, condo owned by a lobbyist, who also happens to be one of her campaign donors, in order to run for re-election in a new congressional district.

Slotkin, who currently represents Michigan’s 8th Congressional District, opted to move to Lansing from her family farm in northern Oakland County, just outside of Detroit, in order to run in the newly drawn 7th Congressional District in a year when new congressional maps were drawn following the 2020 census.

“From my perspective, if the district moves and is a Lansing-based district, and that is the district that’s most natural for me to run in, then I will move and live in the Lansing area and run in the Lansing district,” Slotkin told Ingham County Democrats in their party organization’s monthly meeting in September 2021.

According to Michigan voter registration data, Slotkin updated her voting address in May of this year to reflect the address of a home in Lansing currently owned by Jerry Hollister, an executive at Niowave Inc., a Lansing-based pharmaceutical manufacturing company that has received millions in federal funding. 

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Slotkin’s campaign denied that her congressional office advocated for or was involved in any way with Niowave contracts, and says she pays fair market rent for her Lansing home.

Hollister, however, works as the chief operating officer and director of government relations at the company, where his responsibilities are “to continue developing Congres[s]ional relationships, local community relationships, and media relationships important to continued growth,” according to his LinkedIn profile. 

He listed an additional role as a principal consultant at BBC Entrepreneurial Training & Consulting LLC, another Michigan-based technology consulting company that assists organizations with grant proposals for government funding.

Voter registration data also shows that Hollister, his wife Kathleen and son Jonathan have all been registered to vote at Slotkin’s new address since 2020, the same year the family purchased the home.

According to Federal Election Commission data accessed on Sept. 9, Hollister has also been a frequent donor to Slotkin’s campaign since her first run for Congress in 2018.

Additionally, Niowave has been awarded nearly $30 million in federal funding since January 2019, when Slotkin first took office, receiving significantly more money in 2019 and 2022 than in any other previous year, according to data from USAspending.gov. 

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Slotkin’s new home is also the business address of J. Hollister LLC, a consulting firm run by Hollister which does work related to government contracting and procurement, as well as operations management.

Fox News Digital reached out to Slotkin’s campaign for comment and received a response from campaign spokesperson Lynsey Mukomel, who blamed “attempts to twist the facts” on Slotkin’s Republican opponent, Michigan state Sen. Tom Barrett.

“Congresswoman Slotkin pays market rate rent for her home in Lansing, just like millions of tenants in Michigan, and previous attempts to twist the facts have failed with other outlets for that reason,” Mukomel said.

“This is nothing more than an attempt by Tom Barrett’s weak campaign to distract from his five votes to block thousands of jobs at a new GM plant in his own backyard, his opposition to the bipartisan CHIPS Act and his failed attempt to cover up his dangerous position to ban all abortions in Michigan, even in instances of rape or incest,” she added.

A source close to Slotkin’s campaign said that Niowave had been receiving federal funds since 2007, more than a decade before Slotkin took office, and that any funds they received after she took office was not advocated for, worked on or related in any way to her or her staff.

The source pointed to other individuals besides Hollister employed by Niowave who had contributed to Republican Rep. John Moolenaar’s re-election campaign in 2020, highlighting that contributions from employees of the company were bipartisan.

The source also provided a copy of the lease Slotkin signed to rent Hollister’s property, showing her paying $2,000 monthly for rent, and expiring in November of this year. The source added that Slotkin plans to purchase a home in the Lansing area once the lease expires, and that the housing market had made buying a challenge earlier in the year.

Fox News Digital also reached out to Hollister for comment but did not receive a response.

Slotkin is facing a tough challenge from Barrett, a veteran who served in the U.S. Army and completed deployments in both Iraq and Afghanistan, in a race rated by Fox News’ Power Rankings as a “toss up.”