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Published: Friday, 9/5/2014 - Updated: 10 months ago

Kasich has 5-to-1 fund advantage over foe

Challenger FitzGerald brings in $111,137 to governor’s $1.1M in August

BY JIM PROVANCE
BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU CHIEF

COLUMBUS — The slow fund-raising pace of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald slowed to an embarrassing crawl in August while Republican incumbent Gov. John Kasich added $1.1 million to his coffers.

Mr. Kasich’s re-election campaign is sitting on a record $12.5 million with the critical final two months ahead. The governor maintains a 5-to-1 advantage over Mr. FitzGerald, who reported raising just $111,137 last month and having less than $2.6 million in the bank.

Most telling, the FitzGerald campaign raised just one-fifth of the roughly $533,000 it raised in July.

A Westlake police report made public last month revealed that the Cuyahoga County executive had been found alone in a car with a woman who was not his wife while parked at an industrial complex in the early hours of an October, 2012, morning.

The responding police officer, Mr. FitzGerald, and the woman in question, a member of an Irish delegation visiting the county, all said nothing improper occurred. But that police report led to the discovery that Mr. FitzGerald, a former prosecutor, had been driving nearly a decade without a valid permanent driver’s license.

“The reports that the campaign has thrown in the towel and shifted all of its resources to help other candidates are entirely false,” FitzGerald campaign spokesman Lauren Hitt said. “What we have done is focused campaign resources on a voter-turnout strategy, both through the coordinated campaign’s field program as well as the FitzGerald campaign’s own get-out- the-vote efforts.”

Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, has been tracking gubernatorial races across the nation with his “Crystal Ball.”

He recently moved Ohio’s governor’s race from “likely R” to “safe R.”

“As we move into September, it’s clear that support for Governor Kasich’s re-election is only getting stronger by the day,” said Kasich campaign manager Matt Carle.

Among other statewide races:

● Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine and Democratic challenger David Pepper saw robust numbers in August, raising $455,626 and $350,604, respectively. Mr. DeWine, however, sits on a bank balance of $3.5 million compared to Mr. Pepper’s $2.1 million.

● Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted raised $104,696 and has banked $3.2 million compared with $81,933 and $822,619, respectively, for his Democratic opponent, state Sen. Nina Turner (D., Cleveland).

● Republican Treasurer Josh Mandel raised $243,169 last month, contributing to a $3.6 million balance, while his Democratic opponent, state Rep. Connie Pillich (D., Cincinnati), raised $231,141 to pad her bank account to $2.3 million.

● State Rep. John Carney (D., Columbus) was the only statewide Democrat to outraise his Republican opponent. He raised $123,124 compared with incumbent state Auditor David Yost’s $86,825, but Mr. Yost holds a slight advantage in cash on hand—$1.4 million to Mr. Carney’s $1.1 million.

● Ohio Supreme Court Justices Sharon Kennedy and Judith French, both Republicans, hold huge cash advantages over their Democratic opponents, state Rep. Tom Letson (D., Warren) and Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John O’Donnell, respectively. Justice Kennedy raised $83,239 and had $709,030 in the bank compared with the $7,025 raised last month and a $12,722 cash balance for Mr. Letson.

Justice French raised $117,912 and had a balance of $649,739 compared with $12,110 and $136,011, respectively, for Judge O’Donnell.

Contact Jim Provance at: jprovance@theblade.com or 614-221-0496.


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