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Published: Saturday, 12/1/2007

Latta raised $108,021 more than opponent Weirauch

BY JOSHUA BOAK AND JOE VARDON
BLADE STAFF WRITERS

State Rep. Bob Latta raised $108,021 more than Democrat Robin Weirauch did for the 5th congressional district special election.

Mr. Latta reported receiving $246,173 and Mrs. Weirauch got $138,152, according to prespecial election filings with the Federal Elections Commission.

The candidates face one another Dec. 11 in a run-off election to succeed the late Paul Gillmor in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The content of the race largely corresponds to the sources of cash. Mr. Latta promotes open global markets, while Mrs. Weirauch says she will protect manufacturing jobs from low-cost foreign competitors.

Mr. Latta (R., Bowling Green) has $132,488 on hand. However, the campaign also has $118,609 in outstanding debts, which include printing costs, advertising, and a $50,000 loan Mr. Latta gave his campaign from personal savings.

About $106,000 came from an inside-the-beltway fund-raising event. Mr. Latta relied on his future possible colleagues, receiving donations from 26 congressional campaigns.

Executives from ProMedica Health System and real estate developer Dillin Corp. were among the Ohio residents donating to Mr. Latta's campaign, which has a distinct corporate backing with additional contributions from accounting firms, auto dealers, AT&T, MasterCard, and Ohio-based fast-food restaurant Wendy's.

"It shows that he's got a lot of support, not just in Ohio but from the business community," said Matt Parker, the Latta campaign manager. "They know he's the pro-business candidate."

The Weirauch camp has run, in part, on a pledge to keep its campaign free of negativity - and has asked the Latta camp to do the same.

Yet both the Weirauch campaign and the Ohio Democratic Party were quick to mention Mr. Latta's financial ties to corporations and his personal financial holdings.

"The last thing northwest Ohioans needs is another career politician in Washington who will be beholden to corporate special interests instead of Ohio's working families," state Democratic Party Executive Director Doug Kelly said in a statement.

Brad Bauman, a Weirauch campaign spokesman, echoed Mr. Kelly's comments by saying: "Northwest Ohioans are hungry for change and want candidates like Robin Weirauch whose roots are in the middle class, not following family footsteps to power."

Mrs. Weirauch's latest financial filing period was far more successful than her first.

She raised $45,563, according to preprimary filings, and has since raised more than $40,000 from national labor organizations alone.

Other national donations - of which there were many - included $2,000 contributions from the campaigns of Nancy Pelosi, the U.S. speaker of the House, and U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D., Ill.).

"Robin has received support from people across Ohio and the country who believe she is better positioned to deliver that change than the career politician she's running against," Mr. Bauman said.

Another Weirauch contributor was Emily's List, a national pro-choice political action committee for female candidates which last week donated $5,000.

Ken Spain, press secretary for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said the group's support for partial-birth abortion indicates that Mrs. Weirauch is "way out of step with the interests and values of Ohio voters."

Contact Joshua Boak at:

jboak@theblade.com

or 419-724-6728.



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