Tuesday, Aug 21, 2018
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DeWine spends nearly $5 million

COLUMBUS — The fight over the Republican nomination for Ohio governor has grown increasingly nasty in the weeks before the May 8 primary election with Mike DeWine spending about $4.9 million against opponent Mary Taylor.

Pre-primary reports filed Thursday with the secretary of state’s office show that Lt. Gov. Taylor spent $1.9 million, mostly on ads portraying herself as the true conservative in the race while characterizing Attorney General DeWine as a “liberal.”

She reported raising just $410,497 during the roughly three-month reporting period, a quarter of that reported by Mr. DeWine.

Across the political aisle, the backing of big labor is paying off for Richard Cordray, former President Barack Obama’s former consumer watchdog. The Democrat reported adding about $1.4 million to his campaign coffers compared to $592,127 by chief rival Dennis Kucinich.

When the dust cleared, Mr. Cordray still had more than $1.6 million in the bank compared to the former Cleveland congressman’s $274,754.

Thursday marked the deadline for candidates to report fund-raising and spending activity through April 18, providing the last glance of the financial health of campaigns before the primary.

Mr. DeWine, armed with the endorsement of the Ohio Republican Party, reported raising $1.7 million since the start of the year. That’s on top of $10.5 million he and running mate Jon Husted were already sitting on at that time.

Even spending $4.9 million mostly on TV ads, the campaign had a robust $7.4 million in the bank. Mr. DeWine has personally loaned his campaign $1 million.

Ms. Taylor and running mate Nathan Estruth closed the reporting period with just under $2 million on hand. But she and Mr. Estruth have loaned the committee a combined $3.2 million of their own money.

The numbers do not include spending on behalf of Mr. DeWine and Ms. Taylor by outside federal super political action committees independent of the official campaigns.

The numbers were more modest for the two other major Democratic gubernatorial candidates.

State Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D., Boardman) reported raising $87,105 on top of $276,662 his committee had already banked. After expenses, his campaign was sitting on just under $73,000.

Former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill reported $68,268 in contributions, mostly from individuals. But he loaned $16,000 of his own money to the effort. He has $5,325 left in the bank.

Pre-primary reports also shed light on spending in some of the biggest primaries in northwest Ohio.

In the Ohio Senate’s 11th District, Toledo state Reps. Michael Ashford and Teresa Fedor square off for the Democratic nomination.

Ms. Fedor raised $40,155 since the start of the year. Her largest contribution, $3,000, came on behalf of The Matriots, a PAC founded out of the Women’s March on Washington focused on electing more women.

Mr. Ashford carried nearly $60,000 into the pre-primary period and raised $21,670 more. After spending $44,200, he has $37,169 remaining. His largest contributions came from the Realtors Political Action Committee, along with various organized labor groups.

In the Ohio House 44th District, former Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson faces Robert Worthington for the Democratic nomination. As of Thursday night, neither had a publicly available report.

On the Republican side, Rep. Derek Merrin, of Monclova Township, is running against primary challenger Barbara Lang in the 47th District consisting of Lucas County’s western suburbs and most of Fulton County.

Mr. Merrin raised $47,673 with his largest contributions coming on behalf of House Speaker candidate Larry Householder (R., Glenford), whose campaign donated $7,708. Allan Block, chairman of Block Communications, Inc., which owns The Blade, contributed $2,500, making him one of Mr. Merrin’s top contributors.

Ms. Lang raised $52,534, with the bulk of her funds coming from organized labor. The Ohio State Building and Construction Trades Council donated $12,700 to her campaign, and the union’s political arm also donated $12,700.

Neither candidate has spent much of their campaign funds. Ms. Lang still had $47,053 on hand after spending $5,681, and Mr. Merrin had a balance of $51,113 after spending $2,816.

In local races, appointed Toledo City Councilman Chris Delaney is running against David Ball, Jim Nowak, and Alex Rivera for the remaining time on the unexpired District 6 term.

Mr. Nowak loaned his campaign $17,406, though his pre-primary report shows no spending. Mr. Rivera’s campaign has also not spent any money, and has $700 on hand. That includes a $50 donation from himself, and a $250 donation from Lucas County Republican Party Chairman candidate Mark Wagoner, Jr. Mr. Ball has raised $3,258, spending $2,217, leaving him with $1,041 on hand.

Mr. Delaney's report was not available.

In the Republican primary for the Lucas County treasurer’s race, Waterville Mayor Lori Brodie has raised $4,375, including a $500 loan from herself to the campaign. The PAC supporting Mr. Wagoner’s campaign for GOP Chairman also donated $1,000 to Ms. Brodie. She has $3,987 in cash on hand.

The report for her opponent, Brent McCormack, was not available.

Michael Hood and Gary Byers are competing in the Democratic primary for Lucas County commissioner. Mr. Hood raised $1,608 and spent most of it, leaving him with just $87 on hand. Mr. Byers's report was not available.

The Democratic primary for the Lucas County Common Pleas Court features incumbent Judge Stacy Cook against Joanne Horen. Judge Cook has raised $12,233 and has $2,323 on hand. Ms. Horen has contributed $1,300 to her own campaign and spent most of that money, leaving her with $31 on hand.

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

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