Senate GOP hopefuls spend $23M

The five leading Republican candidates seeking the U.S. Senate seat for Ohio in the May 3 election and their affiliated fundraising committees spent nearly $23 million during the first three months of this year.

That doesn’t include more than $7 million from outside super political action committees in the first quarter.

Leading the way again among the candidates was investment banker Mike Gibbons, who spent $8,368,165 in the first quarter with about $7 million of it for advertising. Overall during this campaign, he’s spent $14,154,584 — most of it being his own money.

Gibbons gave $5 million to his campaign in the first quarter with $2 million paid March 10 and $3 million March 31, the last day of the filing period. He raised $112,389 from donors in the first quarter.

Gibbons also paid $150,000 on March 31 to rent an RV he is using to campaign.

Overall during this campaign, Gibbons, who lost a 2018 U.S. Senate Republican primary, raised $17,053,511 with $16.55 million from his personal wealth.

State Sen. Matt Dolan spent $6,040,992, including about $5 million on commercials, during the first three months of this year.

Dolan, whose family owns the Cleveland Guardians baseball team, gave $10.49 million to his campaign in the fourth quarter of last year.

Dolan raised $224,272 in the first quarter from donors.

The campaign fund for Josh Mandel, a former two-term state treasurer who lost a 2012 Senate race, spent $3,727,326 during the first quarter with close to $3.5 million for media advertising.

Mandel has the most complicated finances of any of the Senate candidates in Ohio because he has a joint fundraising committee and a leadership political action committee that share money.

In addition to what his campaign fund spent, Mandel’s Team Josh joint fundraising committee he has with the Shelby County Republican Party spent $1,105,910 in the first quarter. Of that amount, $329,864 went to Mandel’s Senate fund and $20,293 went to his JOSH leadership PAC.

JOSH PAC spent $32,265 in the first quarter.

In the first quarter, Mandel’s Senate fund raised $519,247, Team Josh raised $1,184,520 and JOSH PAC raised $20,293. Not including the transfers, Mandel’s various fundraising committees received $1,373,903 in the first quarter.

Also, the Club for Growth Action and the USA Freedom Fund, two outside super PACs backing Mandel, spent $1,617,291 and $102,077, respectively, in the first quarter running attack ads against Gibbons and former Ohio Republican Party Chairwoman Jane Timken, two of his opponents.

The Senate fund for J.D. Vance, an author and venture capitalist who received the coveted endorsement of former President Donald Trump, raised $917,854 in the first quarter. That included a $600,000 contribution from the candidate and a $279,000 transfer from his joint fundraising committee, Ohioans for J.D.

Outside of Gibbons, Vance was the only candidate for the Senate seat to self-fund his campaign in the first quarter. He also gave $100,000 to his campaign in the third quarter of last year.

Vance’s Senate campaign spent only $353,498 in the first quarter of this year.

Ohioans for J.D. raised $632,725 in the first quarter and spent $712,509. The expenditures included the transfer to Vance’s Senate campaign and $90,000 to Working for Ohio, a leadership PAC that shares the same treasurer as his Senate committee.

Also, Protect Ohio Values, a super PAC that is backing Vance and isn’t coordinating with his campaign, spent $5,436,221 in the first quarter to boost Vance’s efforts through media and online advertising, text messaging and video production. The super PAC is run by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, Vance’s former boss.

Timken’s Senate fund raised $808,893 in the first quarter. That included a $115,592 transfer from the Timken Victory Committee, a joint committee she shares with the Stark County Republican Party.

In the first quarter, Timken’s Senate campaign spent $2,974,349 with more than half of it going towards media advertisements.

The Timken Victory Committee raised $259,189 and spent $283,178 with $115,592 going to Timken’s Senate fund in the first quarter.

Between her Senate fund and the joint committee, Timken raised $952,490 in the first quarter.

Timken loaned $3.5 million to her campaign last year.

As of March 31, Dolan had the most cash on hand in his fund with $4,571,331. That was followed by Mandel with $2,788,709, Vance with $1,625,579, Timken with $1,451,635 and Gibbons with $330,008. But with so much money coming out of the pockets of the Republican candidates, several of them could reach in again if needed during the final weeks of the campaign.

Businessman Bernie Moreno, who quit the Republican primary for Senate on Feb. 3, spent $1,999,585 in the first quarter. That included $740,900 in refunds to donors and about $750,000 in media advertisements.

Moreno had loaned $3.75 million to his campaign last year. He gave an additional $31,495 to his campaign on March 4, about a month after he withdrew. He reported $5,485 in his campaign fund as of March 31.


U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Howland, continues to dominate all of the candidates in terms of dollars raised from donors.

Ryan, a 10-term House member,received $4,111,765 in contributions in the first quarter. That also included $131,200 in transfers with the largest amount of $105,000 coming from the Tim Ryan Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee he operates with the Ohio Democratic Party.

Ryan’s Senate fund spent $2,675,729 in the first quarter.

It had $6,466,053 cash on hand as of March 31 including carryovers from previous quarters.

The Victory Fund raised $341,022 and spent $359,695 in the first quarter. The expenditures were largely transfers: $105,000 to Ryan’s Senate fund, $210,000 to the state party and $25,000 to America 2.0, Ryan’s PAC.

Morgan Harper, an attorney and community organizer who’s also running for the Democratic nomination, raised $327,978 and spent $386,645 in the first quarter.

Including money she carried over from previous quarters, she had $378,146 in her fund as of March 31.

The seat is open because U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Terrace Park, opted not to seek re-election. Portman has endorsed Timken.




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