U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) is sitting on a much bigger campaign war chest than her likely opponent in the 9th District Democratic primary, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D., Cleveland), but Mr. Kucinich said he will be able to level the playing field with no difficulty.
New campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission show that as of Sept. 30, Miss Kaptur had $604,916 in her account while Mr. Kucinich had $90,253.
So far this year, Mr. Kucinich both raised and spent much more money than Miss Kaptur — some in the state of Washington. Earlier this year, Mr. Kucinich said he explored the possibility of a run for a congressional district seat there.
After the new outlines of Congressional District 9 came out in September, Mr. Kucinich said he had dropped interest in other congressional districts and would focus on running in the 9th. Currently, Mr. Kucinich represents the 10th District, which would be wiped out by a Republican-drawn redistricting plan that was required to eliminate two of Ohio’s 18 Congressional districts.
The newly created 9th District follows the Lake Erie coast all the way from Cleveland, where Mr. Kucinich lives, to Toledo, where Miss Kaptur lives. However, the status of the new map is in question following a ruling on Friday by the Ohio Supreme Court that the law could be set aside for a referendum in 2012. Democrats and voter groups say the GOP gerrymandered the lines to protect their control of Ohio’s congressional delegation.
In all, Mr. Kucinich had raised $433,838 in the 2012 election cycle so far, while Miss Kaptur had raised $133,737. Mr. Kucinich had spent $385,652, while Miss Kaptur had spent $77,419. Their war chests include money left over from previous election cycles.
Miss Kaptur said she will raise the money that she needs to run her campaign, but pointed to Mr. Kucinich’s proven ability to raise money nationally because of his past campaigns for president.
“He probably has a national list. I don’t have a national list. I’m not running on the east coast or the west coast. I’m running on the north coast, and I always have,” Miss Kaptur said. “I hope to build a campaign effort based on the friendships we have developed and the real results we’ve been able to produce in the region we’ve represented.”
She said the 9th District will require candidates to buy advertising in both the Cleveland and Toledo media markets.
Mr. Kucinich said the apparent imbalance in campaign funding does not worry him because he said he can appeal to supporters via the Internet.
“We’ve always been able to raise money on the Internet whenever we’ve needed it, so I’m not worried about it at all,” Mr. Kucinich said. “I probably have the most amount of small-dollar-amount contributions of probably anybody in the U.S. House.”
Mr. Kucinich spent $2,166 from April through June in Washington state. The report shows he spent $869 on June 23, 2011, for a rental car, hotel room, and restaurant in Seattle. There are also two expenditures for taxicabs in Seattle on Aug. 15 for a total of $525. The report also shows expenditures for air fare, but does not give the dates of travel or the departure and destination cities.
He denied that the money spent in the state of Washington was to campaign for a seat there.
“I took trips out there but at invitation. I spoke at two major labor rallies and at Hemp Fest there. I get a lot of invitations. I had the time to do it. I didn’t go out there as a candidate,” Mr. Kucinich said. He has previously acknowledged testing the waters in the Seattle area for a possible run if the congressional redistricting left him without a competitive district to run in.
In the 2010 election campaign against Republican Rich Iott, Miss Kaptur spent $1,041,035 and ended the year with $566,814 still in her account. Mr. Iott spent almost twice as much — $1,976,613 — and reported $31 left in his campaign account at the end of 2010, according to the campaign finance watchdog group opensecrets.org.
Mr. Kucinich raised $972,635 in the 2010 cycle and spent $940,086. His opponent, Republican Peter J. Corrigan, raised $330,571 and spent $321,808.
Contact Tom Troy at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6058.