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JUDGE CAMPAIGNS Supreme Court raises limits on contributions

Published: Sat, February 5, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.

Outside interest groups have played an increasing role in judicial elections.
COLUMBUS (AP) -- The Ohio Supreme Court announced Friday it increased the maximum amount political parties and other contributors can give to judicial campaigns.
The court amended its campaign finance rules to encourage donors to give directly to a candidate's campaign fund, instead of funneling their money to outside interest groups, which have played an increasing role in judicial elections in recent years, Chief Justice Thomas Moyer said.
The contribution limits the court adopted for judicial races in 1995 were last increased in 2003. The new limits include these changes:
UPolitical parties' donations to Supreme Court candidates increase from $125,000 to $150,000 for primaries and from $250,000 to $275,000 for general elections. The limit individuals can give for those races remains at $3,000.
UIndividuals can give to appeals courts candidates $1,000, up from $750 for primary and general elections. Political parties can give those candidates $30,000 instead of $25,000 in primaries and $60,000 instead of $50,000 in general elections.
UIndividuals can give county court candidates $500, up from $350. Political parties' limits increased from $25,000 to $30,000 for primaries and $50,000 to $60,000 in general elections for counties with more than 750,000 people. For counties with fewer than 750,000, the limits for parties increased from $20,000 to $25,000 for primaries and from $40,000 to $50,000 for general elections.

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