When it comes to congressional campaigns, money isn’t the only thing, but it sure is important.
The 6th Congressional District race pits U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, a four-term incumbent Republican from Marietta, against Shawna Roberts, a Belmont Democrat running in her first election.
Johnson is one of the strongest fundraisers among members of the U.S. House from Ohio.
During the most recent filing period, from April 19 to June 30, Johnson had another solid effort raising $313,599.
In comparison, Roberts collected $3,392 during the same time period.
Overall, Johnson has raised $1,613,950 for this campaign compared to $6,150 for Roberts as of June 30.
To show how lopsided the money race is consider this: Johnson received $10,000 from Majority Committee PAC of Bakersfield, Calif., led by House Majority Leader Kevin Mc- Carthy, on May 8.
Johnson raised more from that contribution than Roberts has raised during the first half of this year.
Including money carried over from previous campaigns, Johnson had $1,474,233 in his fund compared to $2,671 for Roberts as of June 30.
Roberts has said she can’t compete with Johnson financially and that’s certainly proven to be the case.
That’s a huge obstacle in this particular race because the 18-county 6th District, which includes all of Columbiana County and eight townships in Mahoning County, has become a solid Republican district.
It’s hard at this point to see how Roberts can compete with Johnson even if the talked about Blue Wave hits in November.
In the 13th Congressional District race, incumbent U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland enjoys a financial advantage over his Republican opponent Chris DePizzo of Cuyahoga Falls, a Youngstown native who’s running for elected office for the first time.
Ryan, seeking his ninth two-year term, raised $180,289 in campaign contributions compared to $14,853 for DePizzo between April 19 and June 30.
Overall for this election, Ryan has raised $1,315,963 with DePizzo collecting $36,196.
However, as Ryan has been prone to do, he spends campaign money almost as quickly as he raises it.
Ryan has spent $1,145,528 in this election cycle.
Of the $180,289 he raised between April 19 and June 30, he spent $146,682.
Ryan, who may run for Democratic House leader if he’s re-elected, spent more than $20,000 during the most recent filing period on travel.
That includes hotels and flights to San Diego; Austin, Texas; Miami; Boston; Columbia, S.C.; Beverly Hills; and Manchester, N.H.
Because of money carried over from previous campaigns, Ryan had $415,907 in his campaign war chest compared to $23,510 for DePizzo as of June 30.
That’s quite a difference between the two.
But DePizzo said he’s not concerned about the financial advantage Ryan has over him.
“Tim doesn’t have much money,” DePizzo said. “He’s got less than any elected congressman in the state of Ohio. I’m not concerned with the money Tim Ryan has in the bank. He spends everything he brings in.”
But DePizzo acknowledges: “We need to fundraise more. That’s true.”
The five-county 13th District, which includes most of Mahoning and Trumbull, has traditionally been Democratic.
Ryan was re-elected in 2016 by 36 percentage points.
However, Republican Donald Trump did well in the district in the same election, losing by only 6 percentage points in the presidential race to Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Ryan hasn’t had a serious challenger to his seat since he was first elected in 2002. DePizzo plans to change that.
On a personal note: I’m out of the office for a few days to celebrate the Sunday wedding of my daughter, Logan, to Jacob Mitchell. Congratulations to both of them. I couldn’t be happier.