Kasich winning money race


Random thoughts after reviewing campaign contributions reported by candidates, causes and political parties as of last week’s deadline:

Governor’s Race: It wasn’t really surprising that GOP Gov. John Kasich far outpaced rival Ed FitzGerald, the Democratic Cuyahoga County executive who hopes to unseat him next year.

Kasich is sitting on a war chest in excess of $4.4 million, versus FitzGerald’s $543,000-some.

By my count, the governor’s campaign finance filing included more than 2,700 contributors. Ohioans on that list gave $2.3 million, while out-of-state contributions totaled about $334,000.

FitzGerald had more than 1,400 contributors, with Ohioans giving $563,000 and out-of-staters adding about $37,000.

Outpacing: Likewise, most Republican statewide officeholders have far deeper coffers than their Democratic challengers.

State Treasurer Josh Mandel has $1 million-plus, more than three times the balance of state Rep. Connie Pillich’s campaign account.

Attorney General Mike DeWine’s $1.2 million is six times that of David Pepper.

Secretary of State Jon Husted’s $1.6 million is 12 times that of state Sen. Nina Turner.

The lone exception is state Auditor Dave Yost, with a campaign account balance of nearly $521,000. His likely, though undeclared, challenger, state Rep. John Carney, D-Columbus, has close to $450,000 in hand.

Infusions: All of the Democratic statewide challengers received last-minute contributions from the Ohio Democratic Party to boost their results. FitzGerald snagged $119,500 shortly before the filing deadline, about 20 percent of his total take.

The party also gave $25,000 to Turner, $27,800 to Pepper, $25,000 to Carney and $30,000 to Pillich.

The Ohio GOP padded its candidates accounts, too, notably pitching in $250,000 to Mandel.

Lopsided Legislature: The differences between the House and Senate majority and minority caucus campaigns are staggering.

The Ohio House Republican Organizational Committee collected more than $2.6 million in contributions during the reporting period. After expenses it still had more than $2 million in cash on hand.

And House Democrats? They reported contributions of less than $200,000, with a remaining balance of $66,000.

Senate Republicans, meanwhile, had more than $2.2 million in contributions and a cash balance of $2.1 million.

Senate Democrats had $215,000 in contributions and a remaining balance of less than $39,000.


Issue Campaigns: Groups behind different potential ballot issues weren’t exactly rolling in dough.

The folks hoping to amend the state constitution to legalize gay marriage did have cash on hand of $210,000, with contributions of $25,000 during the reporting period.

Backers of a right-to-work amendment had $1,800 in contributions and a remaining balance of $1,300.

The Ohioan Medical Cannabis Association reported contributions of $23.10 but cash on hand of zero dollars.

And the Responsible Ohioans for Cannabis had no cash contributions but did report $41.88 in in-kind additions.

Fading? Remember We Are Ohio, the union-backed juggernaut behind that massive campaign to kill Senate Bill 5?

At one point, the group reported contributions of nearly $5 million. Even after the collective-bargaining issue was defeated at the polls, the group still had hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank to tackle right to work and other issues.

For the most recent reporting period, We Are Ohio had contributions of a little more than $49,000 and cash on hand of about $100,000.

Almost all of its new money came from the AFL-CIO in Washington, D.C.

Marc Kovac is The Vindicator’s Statehouse correspondent. Email him at mkovac@dixcom.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.

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