COLUMBUS--Gov. John Kasich is sitting on a campaign war chest of nearly $8 million with more than nine months left before he faces voters.
Today marked the deadline for candidates to file campaign finance reports with the secretary of state’s office for the last half of 2013.
Mr. Kasich’s presumed Democratic opponent, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, reported a balance of just $1.4 million on hand after raising about $1.6 million during the reporting period.
But nearly $459,000 of that came directly from the Ohio Democratic Party. Mr. Kasich’s biggest contribution, $75,000, came from the Summit County Republican Party.
The governor has been raising money largely since his re-election bid and had $4.4 million banked by July compared to just $543,541 at the time for Mr. FitzGerald.
A threatened primary challenge from Mr. Kasich's right has yet to materialize with just five days left before candidate petitions must be filed.
Mr. FitzGerald, meanwhile, is still waiting to learn whether he’ll face friendly fire from Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune, who has explored a run with Jack Ford, Toledo city councilman and former mayor, as a possible lieutenant governor.
Although the reports are designed to cover activity through the end of 2013, a flurry of fund-raising e-mails went out to supporters in recent days in an attempt to pad the numbers as much as possible before the deadline.
Money is one way for a candidate to try to flex his election muscles for an election still more than nine months away.