Republican incumbent has huge financial lead over 6th District opponent

By David Skolnick


The financial battle between U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-6th, and Jennifer Garrison, his Democratic challenger, isn’t close with the incumbent enjoying a huge lead over his opponent.

The latest campaign reports, which takes in financial activity from April 17 to June 30, show Johnson, a two-term incumbent in the 6th Congressional District, raised $340,878 compared with $110,083 for Garrison, an attorney and former three-term state representative.

Overall for this campaign, Johnson has raised $1,771,939 compared with $571,064 for Garrison.

Of Garrison’s amount, she personally gave $137,303 to the campaign in loans and in-kind contributions — including $1,465 in this reporting period for office rent, utilities and email service.

Johnson reported a $8,908 personal contribution June 30 on the latest report filed with the Federal Election Commission. The contribution doesn’t include for what the money was used. Overall, he’s given $13,332 to this campaign.

Among Johnson’s expenses was $13,750 on June 13 to Public Opinion Strategies LLC, a firm in Alexandria, Va., for polling.

As of June 30, Johnson had $1,206,292 in his campaign fund compared with $230,780 for Garrison. Both live in Marietta.

“While the Johnson campaign won’t be taking anything for granted this year, Jennifer Garrison’s weak fundraising report shows that even Democratic donors are unenthusiastic about her candidacy,” said Sarah Poulton, Johnson’s campaign manager. “The people in Eastern and Southeastern Ohio feel much the same way.”

In response, Charlie Hale, Garrison’s campaign manager, said, “Congressman Johnson is making a strange argument given that Jennifer has more in her campaign war chest than Johnson did at this point in the campaign four years ago as a challenger to a two-term incumbent. [Johnson had $147,612 as of June 30, 2010.] It speaks volumes about how much Bill Johnson has ‘gone Washington’ that he touts how much money he has raised from lobbyists while refusing to commit to debates in front of the voters throughout Ohio.”

Johnson raised $123,380 from people and $208,589 from political action committees in the most-recent filing period compared with $39,139 from people and $69,480 from PACs for Garrison.

The 18-county district includes all of Columbiana County and eight townships in Mahoning.

In the 13th District, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, a Democrat from Howland seeking his seventh term in the House, raised $126,365 — $46,615 from people and $79,750 from PACs — in the latest filing period. He has raised $783,027 overall for his re-election campaign.

Ryan’s campaign had $388,109 on-hand as of June 30.

Thomas Pekarek of Cleveland, Ryan’s Republican opponent in the Nov. 4 election, has yet to file a report with the FEC.

The five-county 13th District includes most of Mahoning and Trumbull counties.

In the 14th District, freshman U.S. Rep. David Joyce, a Republican from Russell, raised $427,654 in the most-recent filing period and $1,978,893 overall for this campaign.

In comparison, Michael Wager, an attorney from Moreland Hills and the Democratic nominee in the 14th, raised $144,431 between April 17 and June 30, and $1,105,314 overall.

Of Wager’s amount, he’s personally given $62,258 to his campaign, including $1,812 in the most-recent filing period.

Joyce hasn’t contributed any of his own money toward his campaign.

The seven-county district includes 11 northern townships in Trumbull County.

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