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Published: Thursday, 7/13/2006

DeWine holds cash lead in Ohio s Senate race


Ohio's U.S. Senate candidates continued a hot fund-raising pace over the last three months, with the Democratic challenger picking up steam and the Republican incumbent maintaining a cash-on-hand advantage.

The campaign committee for U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine (R., Cedarville) raised about $1.75 million last quarter, his campaign will report tomorrow, $750,000 of it from a suburban Columbus fund-raiser with President Bush. He added another $288,000 from joint fundraising committees with other Republican candidates. Mr. DeWine has banked more than $11 million for the race so far.

Mr. DeWine will report $6.6 million left to spend. His actual total is less than that, because Mr. DeWine bought a new round of television advertising this week.

U.S. Rep. Sherrod Brown (D., Avon), raised about $1.6 million for the quarter, his campaign said, including $216,000 from a fund-raiser with Sen. Hillary Clinton (D., N.Y.), and $116,000 from an event with Sen. Barack Obama (D., Ill.). That s up from $1.3 million he raised last quarter, when Mr. DeWine raised nearly $2.4 million.

Mr. Brown, who has not yet advertised on television, has raised $5.7 million for the campaign so far. He will report $3.7 million left to spend.

Both campaigns said the numbers pleased them.

Mr. Brown s spokesman, Joanna Kuebler, said Mr. Brown s total "underscores that Sherrod is in the mainstream with Ohio voters" and that Mr. DeWine "is relying on President Bush to fund his campaign in an effort to buy him another term."

Mr. DeWine s spokesman, Brian Seitchik, said the figures reflected "a great deal of support for Sen. DeWine s work in the Senate" and brushed aside criticism of Mr. Bush s role in the campaign.

"Sen. DeWine is pleased to have the support of President Bush, (Sen.) John McCain, and (Former New York City mayor) Rudy Giuliani," Mr. Seitchik said, "just as I m sure Sherrod Brown is pleased to have the support of Hillary Clinton and John Kerry."

Analysts expect the Ohio race to be one of a half-dozen that will determine control of the Senate next year.

Contact Jim Tankersley at: jtankersley@theblade.com

or 419-724-6134.

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