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Strickland fund outpaces Blackwell's



Published: Fri, October 27, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



The attorney general candidates have raised 7.5 million combined.

By DAVID SKOLNICK

VINDICATOR POLITICS WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, has raised and spent more money than Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, the Republican nominee.

Campaign finance reports filed with the state Thursday show Strickland, of Lisbon, has raised 15.45 million in total compared with 11.9 million for Blackwell of Cincinnati.

Also, as of Oct. 18, Strickland had 1.8 million in his campaign fund compared with 171,603 for Blackwell.

Between June 3 and Oct. 18, Strickland spent 9.35 million while Blackwell spent 6.39 million. Most polls show Strickland with a double-digit lead over Blackwell.

The amount of money raised by the two major-party candidates is the most for a statewide race in Ohio's history, and Strickland's 15.45 million eclipses the former record by an individual candidate of 13.2 million raised by Gov. Bob Taft in his 2002 re-election campaign.

Attorney general race

State Sen. Marc Dann of Liberty, the Democratic nominee for attorney general, raised 497,429 during the first 18 days of this month and 2.1 million overall for his campaign. In comparison, Ohio Auditor Betty Montgomery of Perrysburg, the Republican attorney general candidate, raised 561,309 during the month's first 18 days, and 5.4 million overall.

Between June 3 and Oct. 18, Dann spent 1.25 million compared with 2.17 million for Montgomery. Polls show Dann is the only Democratic candidate for a statewide executive elected position trailing the Republican.

As for candidates running for Mahoning Valley positions, Mark D. Okey of Carrollton, the Democratic nominee in the 61st Ohio House District, raised the most money between June 3 and Oct. 18.

Okey, running for office for the first time, raised 97,563 during that time period. The 61st District takes in some rural parts of Mahoning County including Beaver, Springfield, Goshen, Smith and Green townships. Of the amount raised, Okey contributed 55,000 to his campaign.

Okey is seeking to succeed state Rep. John Boccieri, a New Middletown Democrat who is vacating the position to run for the 33rd Ohio Senate District seat.

Brant Luther of Alliance, Okey's Republican opponent, raised 38,625 during that time period. He loaned 3,175 to his campaign.

Unopposed

Boccieri is running unopposed for the Ohio Senate seat and raised 79,585 during the time period. Boccieri had 148,716 in his campaign fund before June 3. Boccieri spent 130,929 between June 3 and Oct. 18. Of that amount, Boccieri contributed 61,000 to other Democratic state Senate candidates and 20,000 to Strickland.

Most incumbents raised more money than their challengers during the pre-general election filing period, but there were a few exceptions.

Mahoning County Commissioner David Ludt of Poland, seeking his third term, has 24 in his campaign fund and raised no money between June 3 and Oct. 18. Richard Ouzounian of Boardman, a write-in candidate for the job, raised 1,475 during the pre-general election time period.

Some addresses omitted

Candidates running in the Nov. 7 election have to include addresses of those who contribute money to their campaigns, said James Lee, a secretary of state spokesman. But a few judges, including Diane Grendell of Chesterland, running for re-election to the 11th District Court of Appeals, didn't list the addresses of any of contributors.

Thomas B.J. Letson of Warren, the Democratic candidate for the 64th Ohio House District, failed to include addresses on most of his major contributors.

The Ohio Secretary of State's Web site shows no record of state Rep. Randy Law of Warren, the Republican incumbent in that race, filing a pre-general campaign report. Law couldn't immediately be reached to comment.

skolnick@vindy.com




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