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Democrats best GOP in campaign cash

Sandy Isenberg, president of the Lucas County commissioners, has the biggest political campaign war chest - at $71,597 - among candidates for local offices going into the May 7 primary election, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Lucas County board of elections by yesterday's deadline.

Among those running for state legislative offices from Lucas County, Republican Lynn Olman, a state representative from Maumee, was tops, reporting $46,891 in available cash. He is opposed in the November general election in District 46 by Abbey Mortemore, a first-time candidate who reported $598.31 cash on hand.

Mr. Olman's biggest contributors included the Ohio Nurses Association and Youngstown resident Frank Beshara, both of whom donated $2,500, his report shows. A state political action committee representing trial lawyers gave him $2,000, while the Ohio Contractors PAC contributed $1,750.

Most of the Isenberg money was carried forward from her existing account, the report shows. Of $71,597 cash on hand, only $3,150 of it was reported raised during the current campaign, mostly from political action committees.

The national political committee for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers donated $1,000 to her re-election campaign, while the Northwest Ohio District Council of Carpenters PAC, the local building trades education fund, and the International Association of Bridge, Structural, and Ornamental Iron Workers Local 55, gave $500 each.

Ms. Isenberg is unopposed in the primary, and will face the winner of a race between Republicans Dock Treece and Michael Troper. Neither Mr. Treece nor Mr. Troper filed a campaign finance report.

Candidates who are on the ballot are required to file campaign finance reports before and after the election if they raised or spent a total of $1,000.

Of the five candidates running for the District 4 Toledo council seat, three filed reports. Republican Dennis Lange reported $1,641 cash on hand. Mansour Bey, endorsed by the Green Party, has $144.70 on hand. Michael Ashford, the endorsed Democrat, reported $11,581. Candidates Rick VanLandingham, an independent, and Perlean Griffin, a Democrat, did not file reports.

The five are running in a special election on May 7 to fill the seat until the end of 2003. It was vacated by Democrat Edna Brown, who resigned to take Jack Ford's seat in the Ohio General Assembly. Mr. Ford was elected Toledo mayor in November.

Mr. Ashford was appointed in January to fill the seat temporarily until the May election.

Democrat Teresa Fedor, a state representative giving up her House seat to run for the Ohio Senate in District 11, reported $19,867 cash on hand. She will be opposed in November by the winner of a primary battle between Republican Phillip Barbosa and Kwame Mu'min. Neither Mr. Barbosa nor Mr. Mu'min filed reports.

In the race for House District 47, Democrat Peter Ujvagi reports $23,293 in available cash, while general election opponent Allen Roy, a Republican, reported $4,026 cash on hand. Mr. Ujvagi is president of Toledo council. Mr. Roy is an assistant to Toledo Clerk of Court Maggie Thurber who has never run for office before.

In House District 48, Ms. Brown reported $22,376 cash on hand. Armiya Muhammed, a Republican who ran for Toledo mayor last year and is opposing Ms. Brown in the November election, did not file a report.

In House District 49, Jeanine Perry reported $13,998 on hand, while GOP opponent Joe Lipinski did not file a report.

Lucas County Auditor Larry Kaczala, a Republican running for re-election, reported $562 cash on hand $4,631 in campaign debt. He is unopposed.

Democrats far outpace their Republican opponents in campaign money in the races for two seats on the Ohio 6th District Court of Appeals. Democrat Charles Wittenberg reported $25,074 cash on hand, compared with $3,164 for Republican Judith Lanzinger in the race for one seat.

In the race for the other open seat on the court, Democrat Arlene Singer reported available cash of $47,808, while her opponent, Republican Robert Pollex, reported $5,337 cash on hand.

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