6TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT RACE Figures show Wilson contributed 40% of funds raised

By David Skolnick


Ex-U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson recently gave $75,000 to his campaign in an effort to recapture the 6th Congressional District seat, bringing his contributions in this election to a total of $564,900.

Wilson, a Democrat from St. Clairsville, provided the $75,000 loan Monday, according to campaign financial information filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Of the $1,405,024.65 Wilson has raised for the campaign as of Thursday, 40 percent came from the candidate.

Also, Wilson’s campaign still owes him $191,650 from a $250,000 loan he gave his campaign April 18, 2006, to help fund a successful write-in win in that year’s Democratic primary for the congressional seat.

Wilson is challenging U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, a Republican from Marietta who defeated the two-term Democratic incumbent in the 2010 election.

“The reckless disregard for debt and the assumption that his own personal stimulus funds will fix the problems his campaign is experiencing mirror the reasons Wilson was thrown out of office in the first place,” said Rachel Jacobs, Johnson’s campaign manager.

When asked about Wilson’s contributions, J.R. Starrett, Wilson’s campaign manager, didn’t directly respond.

Instead, he mentioned the $2.1 million spent by Americans for Tax Reform for television commercials critical of Wilson, calling it a “bailout from extreme conservative Grover Norquist,” the head of the organization.

Of the $2,019,720.25 raised by Johnson as of Thursday, $16,002.73 came from the candidate.

Meanwhile, the Cook Political Report, a well-respected nonpartisan online newsletter that handicaps political races, has moved the 6th Congressional District race from “lean Republican” to “toss-up.” It’s the only congressional race in Ohio with that rating from Cook.

“The move echoes what we are seeing on the ground through early-vote numbers and support collected through our” get-out-the-vote efforts, Starrett said. “The momentum is clearly with Charlie at this point.”

The Wilson campaign says a poll it paid for has the Democrat winning by 6 percentage points.

The Johnson campaign has a poll it paid for that has the Republican ahead by eight percentage points.

Unlike Wilson, Johnson’s campaign provided the complete poll to The Vindicator.

Mark Weaver, Johnson’s campaign spokesman, said: “Even the estimable Cook Report can be fooled by a half-baked poll that Charlie Wilson refuses to release. Given that Charlie Wilson is running in lock-step with the liberal positions of [President Barack Obama and [House Minority Leader] Nancy Pelosi, there’s little doubt that voters will reject him yet again.”

The 18-county district includes all of Columbiana County and the southern portion of Mahoning County.

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