By David Skolnick
Of the $199,683 raised by Jennifer Garrison, a Democrat in the 6th Congressional District race, during the first quarter of the year, $107,000 came from a loan she gave the campaign with $3,666 more in in-kind contributions.
Garrison’s financial contributions to her campaign represent 55.4 percent of the total amount of money she raised between Jan. 1 and March 31.
Garrison, of Marietta, an attorney and former three-term Ohio House member, loaned the campaign the $107,000 on March 24, according to a financial report filed with the Federal Election Commission. The in-kind money went primarily toward running her campaign office in Marietta for expenses such as rent, utilities and email service.
In comparison, U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, the two-term Republican incumbent from Marietta, raised $381,770 during the first three months of the year with none of it coming from him.
As of March 31, Johnson had $961,531 and Garrison had $238,1479 in their campaign funds.
Overall in this campaign, Johnson has raised $1,369,066 with $4,423 coming from him compared to $456,926 from Garrison with $135,390 from her.
Gregory D. Howard of Albany, Garrison’s Democratic primary opponent, didn’t file a campaign-finance report with the FEC.
Matt Dole, a Johnson campaign adviser, said the incumbent’s cash lead “indicates growing support heading into the general election,” and that without the debt from loans Garrison made to the campaign she’d have about $100,000 in her account.
Mark Riddle, Garrison’s senior adviser, said the candidate’s loan and contributions are her “investing in the campaign, and she’s asked others to do that, too. In a competitive congressional race, you need the resources to get her message out. It’s part of the campaign plan.”
Riddle also said Garrison “has over four times the cash on hand that Bill Johnson had at this point when he was a challenger candidate” in 2010. After the first quarter of 2010, Johnson, who defeated two-term Democratic incumbent Charlie Wilson in that year’s election, had $55,064 in his campaign fund with $29,750 coming from loans he gave.
Less than a month ago, Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call, a nonpartisan group that handicaps congressional elections, changed the status of the 6th District from “leans Republican” to “Republican favored.” The reason cited was “some of [Garrison’s] stances on social issues have put her at odds with liberal Democrats across the state, and that could make fundraising difficult for her.”
Playing off of that, Dole said, “Because of the weak Democratic field, pundits no longer believe this campaign will be as hotly contested as first thought, but that doesn’t mean we’re not taking it seriously.”
The 18-county district includes all of Columbiana County and eight townships in Mahoning County.
In the 13th Congressional District, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, a Democrat from Howland seeking his seventh term in the House, raised $178,389 in this year’s first quarter, and had $349,132 in his campaign fund as of March 31.
Overall in this campaign, Ryan has raised $654,412.
John Stephen Luchansky of Boardman, who is challenging Ryan in the Democratic primary, didn’t file a campaign-finance report with the FEC.
The five-county 13th District includes most of Mahoning and Trumbull counties.
The primary is May 6.
In the 14th District, freshman U.S. Rep. David Joyce, a Republican from Russell, raised $279,679 in the first three months of the year and had $1,217,687 in his campaign fund as of March 31.
He is being challenged in the GOP primary by state Rep. Matt Lynch of Bainbridge, who filed his first campaign finance report with the FEC. During the first three months of the year, Lynch raised $78,543 with $250 coming from him, and after expenses he had $48,940 in his account as of March 31.
Michael Wager, an attorney from Novelty running as a Democrat, raised $191,282 during the year’s first quarter and had $485,973 in his campaign fund as of March 31.
The district includes 11 northern townships in Trumbull County.