The challenger raised almost twice as much as the
By DAVID SKOLNICK
VINDICATOR POLITICS WRITER
It didn’t take long for state Sen. John Boccieri to be financially competitive in his congressional bid.
Boccieri, a New Middletown Democrat, announced May 8 that he was running in next year’s 16th Congressional District race. Between May 15 and June 30, Boccieri raised $155,200, according to a campaign finance report filed with the Federal Election Commission.
All declared congressional candidates had to file financial reports for the year’s second quarter, April 1 to June 30, with the FEC by Sunday.
While the district is at least 30 miles from Boccieri’s Mahoning County home, he is receiving financial support from those in the Mahoning and Shenango valleys.
Of the $56,700 Boccieri received in itemized individual contributions, $33,300 came from residents of the valleys. That works out to 59 percent of those contributions. Candidates don’t have to list contributions of less than $200 from individuals on their campaign finance reports.
Anthony Cafaro Sr., president of his family’s Youngstown-based property development and management company, and his wife, Phyllis, each contributed $4,600 to Boccieri’s campaign. Also giving Boccieri $4,600 were Atty. Michael Morley, the former Mahoning County Democratic Party chairman, and James E. Winner Jr., president of the Sharon-based Winner International company.
Boccieri’s 33rd state Senate district includes the western portion of Stark County, which is in the 16th Congressional District. Boccieri said he may move to western Stark. Members of Congress don’t have to live in the district they represent.
Since 1972, U.S. Rep. Ralph Regula, a Navarre Republican, has represented the 16th District, which includes all of Stark and Wayne counties and portions of Medina and Ashland counties.
There is talk that Regula won’t seek re-election. The speculation was heightened when Regula raised only $1,650 for his campaign during the year’s first quarter.
In the second quarter, Regula raised $82,218, a small amount for an incumbent who is facing a prominent Democratic challenger. Of the amount Regula raised between April and June, $39,000 came from two families: the Fishers, a San Francisco family that includes two chairmen of the Gap Inc.; and the Ratners, a family that runs Forest City Enterprises, a Cleveland real estate company.
Regula wasn’t the most prolific Republican raising money for the 16th District seat.
That distinction went to state Sen. J. Kirk Schuring of Canton, R-29th, who raised $136,375 in the year’s second quarter. Schuring, who raised nothing between January and March, has said he would run for the congressional seat if Regula didn’t seek another term.
U.S. Rep. Steven C. LaTourette, a Concord Republican, whose district includes a portion of northern Trumbull County, raised $337,874 during the year’s second quarter and $425,442 for the first six months of 2007.
William M. O’Neill, a South Russell Democrat, resigned this month from the Warren-based 11th District Court of Appeals to run for the seat. O’Neill established a federal campaign committee July 3 and didn’t raise any money during the first six months of the year.
While no one has come forward to challenge U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles, D-17th, he was busy raising money — $122,610 between April and June, and $260,365 for the first six months of the year. Ryan’s district includes most of Trumbull County and about half of Mahoning County.
U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson of St. Clairsville, D-6th, also doesn’t have any announced challengers. Like Ryan, Wilson also raised a decent amount of money. During the year’s first six months, Wilson raised $252,745, including $140,558 between April and June. His district includes about half of Mahoning County and all of Columbiana County.
In Western Pennsylvania, freshman U.S. Rep. Jason Altmire of McCandless, Pa., whose district includes all of Lawrence County and a portion of Mercer County, raised $384,309 in the year’s second quarter and has raised $694,365 during the first six months of 2007.
Among Republicans planning to run against Altmire are ex-Allegheny County Councilman Ron Francis of Ben Avon, Pa., who raised $86,835 in the first six months of the year, and ex-U.S. Rep. Melissa Hart of Bradford Woods, Pa., who Altmire beat in November 2006, and who’s only raised $5,777 this year.