Normal state contribution limits permit individuals and political action committees (PACs) to donate up to $7,150 per candidate during an election cycle.
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.
Fox News could not immediately reach the governor for comment.
But according to local reports, Whitmer’s campaign has justified accepting the excess campaign contributions by relying on a legal loophole.
Under Michigan law, elected officials are not barred by campaign donation limits if they are facing a recall election.
Since 2020, Whitmer has faced 34 attempted recall bids to oust her from office.
Last year the Michigan Board of State Canvassers rejected 10 of the efforts while one was withdrawn. Another nine recall bids introduced in 2020 were terminated as they lacked signatures, Ballotpedia reported.
Another 14 recall efforts were launched this year – 13 of which were again rejected by the board while the remaining bid was withdrawn – meaning Whitmer does not appear to be facing any active recall attempts.
The Michigan Republican Party has alleged Whitmer's continued acceptance of excessive campaign funds is illegal and launched a suit against her campaign in September.
"Gretchen Whitmer has illegally raised funds in excess of Michigan’s contribution limit by claiming a recall exception for a recall that doesn’t exist," spokesperson for the Michigan Republican Party, Gustavo Portela, told Fox News "We’ll fight in court to ensure that campaign finance rules continue to be applied fairly across the board for all candidates running for governor because no one is above the law."
According to court filings released earlier this month, the governor may be forced to return the excess campaigns or donate them to the state’s Democratic Party if an official recall bid is not launched by Jan. 1, 2022, reported The Detroit News.
Under state law, a recall attempt cannot be introduced during a governor’s final year of their elected term.
"The governor would be required to disgorge any contributions received in excess of the MCFA (Michigan Campaign Finance Act) limits at that time," the filing reportedly stated.
The governor has $12.6 million in her war chest for her 2022 reelection campaign.
Fox News could not immediately reach the Michigan Republican Party for comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.