Ryan rolls while GOP candidates take loans

Raised most in 3Q from donors while Republican candidates open wallets to run Senate campaigns

When it came to money raised from donors in the U.S. Senate race in the third quarter, Rep. Tim Ryan was the clear winner, while his Democratic opponent objects to him having a joint fundraising committee with the Ohio Democratic Party.

Also, four of the Republicans vying for that party’s nomination for the open Senate seat put a total of $6.35 million of their own personal wealth into their campaigns.

Leading the GOP pack was businessman Bernie Moreno, who put $3 million of his own money into his campaign on Sept. 30, the last day of the third quarter.

Businessman Mike Gibbons gave $2.25 million to his campaign in the third quarter, also on Sept. 30. Gibbons gave $5.67 million to his campaign in the second quarter.

Former Ohio Republican Party Chairman Jane Timken put $1 million into her Senate campaign Sept. 30. She gave $1 million to her campaign in the first quarter of the year.

Also, J.D. Vance, businessman and venture capitalist, gave $100,000 to his fund on May 19, before the start of the third quarter as part of his exploratory committee, according to his latest report with the Federal Election Commission.

Between self-funded candidates and joint fundraising committees, which a number of Senate candidates have that allow them to raise money with others and transfer a portion to their campaigns, it’s complicated to determine how much was raised.

Ryan, D-Howland, reported $2,511,219 raised in the third quarter with none coming out of his pocket.

“This is the environment we’re in, where you have people who have done extremely well, on millionaires row, against a guy from the Valley who’s going to take them all on,” Ryan said. “That is behind what the whole race is about.”

Ryan’s haul was the eighth most among all Democratic candidates for Senate in the country in the third quarter and third among nonincumbents.

Of the money Ryan raised, $2.3 million came from individuals and $179,250 came from political action committees.

Ryan also reported a $22,000 transfer on Sept. 30 from the Tim Ryan Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee created June 11 and consisting of Ryan’s Senate campaign, his America 2.0 PAC, and the Ohio Democratic Party. The victory fund transferred $24,000 to Ryan’s Senate account June 20.

Ryan had $3,646,031 in his Senate fund as of Sept. 30.

Ryan will face Morgan Harper, an attorney and community organizer who lost a 2020 U.S. House race, in the Democratic primary. Harper announced her candidacy Aug. 18.

Harper raised $535,909 in the third quarter. After expenses, she had $413,810 as of Sept. 30.

When told about the joint fundraising committee with the Ohio Democratic Party, Harper said: “The Democratic Party should not be helping one candidate over another in a primary. Ohio Democrats lose election after election, and this is exactly why. Political insiders choosing favorites in advance and rigging the system in their favor is not what energizes voters and expands the electorate.”

Ryan’s campaign asked the state party to create a joint fundraising committee and an agreement was reached.

An ODP official said party Chairwoman Liz Walters approached Harper before her announcement for Senate about how the party could work with her campaign before the primary, which is in May 2022. But Harper never followed up with the party, the official said. The offer to work with the party still exists, the official said.

Harper’s campaign said ODP staff made an introductory outreach to their staff, but never on ways to financially coordinate. Also, the campaign said the ODP never communicated with Harper’s financial team, never offered to set up a joint fundraising committee and didn’t disclose it had one with Ryan.

Izzi Levy, Ryan’s campaign spokeswoman, said: “Tim is committed to building the strongest team Ohio has ever seen, which is why our campaign is making major early investments to support Democratic candidates across the state and up and down the ticket, no matter the outcome of next spring’s primary.”


With the $3 million he put into his campaign, Moreno raised the most among Republicans in the third quarter with $3,708,872.

But the $708,872 he raised from donors in the third quarter is a significant drop-off from the $2,249,069 Moreno collected in the second quarter from donors.

After expenses, Moreno had $4,745,808 in his fund as of Sept. 30.

Gibbons, who’s largely self-funding his campaign, collected $133,255 from donors in the third quarter in addition to his $2.25 million loan.

After expenses, which included $2,975,900 on commercials, Gibbons had $4,214,720 in his fund as of Sept. 30.

Among all Republican Senate candidates in the country, Moreno raised the fifth most and Gibbons the ninth most in the third quarter. Without self-funding, neither would have been anywhere close to the top of that list.

Former state Treasurer Josh Mandel, who lost a 2012 Senate race, reported about $1.1 million in contributions in the third quarter.

But it’s not that simple.

Mandel’s Team Josh joint fundraising committee with the Shelby County Republican Party raised $984,292 in the third quarter. On Sept. 30, that committee transferred $762,157 to Mandel’s Senate fund as well as $23,368 to his Josh PAC an $286,374 to the Shelby Republicans.

Mandel’s Senate campaign raised $102,224 from donors in the third quarter.

Because of the large surplus Mandel had from not only the 2012 campaign but an abandoned 2018 bid for a Senate seat, Mandel had $5,859,961 in his fund as of Sept. 30.

Timken’s $1 million loan to her campaign on Sept. 30 make up most of the $1,560,110 she raised in the third quarter. She also received $11,446 in the third quarter from the Timken Victory Committee, a joint committee she shares with the Stark County Republican Party. The Stark Republicans received $78,373 from the same fund in the third quarter.

After expenses, Timken’s Senate campaign had $3,105,436 as of Sept. 30.

In his first Senate filing, Vance reported raising $1,075,995 though only $291,995 came from donors.

Vance gave $100,000 to his campaign. He received a $674,000 transfer from Ohioans for J.D., a joint fundraising committee with Working for Ohio, a leadership PAC that shares the same treasurer as Vance’s Senate campaign.

Ohioans for J.D. raised $1,352,485 in the third quarter.

After expenses, Vance’s Senate campaign had $369,321 as of Sept. 30.

Vance also is backed by Protect Ohio Values, a super PAC. PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel gave $10 million to the super PAC on March 12.


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