Today is the deadline for the statewide candidates to file their monthly July reports for contributions which will continue through October.

*They only need to report contributions, not expenditures (although some do), so the cash on hand figures will be highly misleading into the Pre-General Election filing due in October.  We’ll have additional month contribution reports for August and September.

My expectations are that Kasich should lead with the most raised this month as his schedule in July demonstrated that he was working to have the best report possible.  In attention to a number of high-dollar business fundraising events he tied with his national book tour, Kasich did separate fundraising events with most of the ‘12 GOP Presidential aspirants here in Ohio all of which occurred last month.

Kasich had Mitt Romney do an event, Newt Gingrich, Mitch Daniels, and even Arnold Schwarzenegger.  While I’m sure Strickland did plenty of major fundraising events, too, he didn’t seem to be go to the “political celebrity” well at all while Kasich hit it heavily.

The real question, though, is will we see Kasich’s true Cash-on-Hand figure?  Strickland’s campaign has stayed off the air and doesn’t look like they’ve done much to up their spendthrift campaign’s relatively lack of spending.  Kasich’s campaign, on the other hand, was spending more money than Strickland’s campaign was when Strickland’s campaign was running ads.  Now that Kasich spent a good portion of the month running his first ad in a decent rotation, you have to expect that his burn rate has never been higher.

We’ll see (unless, we don’t.  In which case, we’ll see come October)

Anyways, with those caveats aside, here’s what was reported:

  • Governor: Dennis Spisak was the first to file his July report in the Governor’s race.  However, when you only have $115.00 in total donations to report from three  donors (one of which is your running mate who only kicked in $15.00), the paperwork for filing gets a little easier.  Spisak also reported spending nearly $600 solely for yard signs.  He reported $272.16 on hand.

Ted Strickand reported raising over $2 million on hand.  Again, reported no expenditures so the $9.7 million on hand* is not accurate.

John Kasich did, as I expected, do well this report, but not as good as I thought.  Despite spending a month on fundraisers featuring a parade of the ‘12 GOP Presidential hopefuls, Kasich only raised $200k more than Strickland.  Given that Strickland’s NAFTA buy, I believe, cost the campaign half a million, and Kasich’s ad ran longer and seem to be running more often than I ever saw the Strickland ad, I can only assume that Kasich spent as much if not more.

Plus, Kasich has historically spent more money than the Strickland campaign due to a heavy reliance on fundraising consultants, who almost seem to get paid by a cut of what they raised.  In other words, the lack of requiring to report expenditures couldn’t be more misleading than it is in the case of Kasich.  Instead of closing the Cash on Hand by $200k as the reports would seem to suggest, it’s highly probable that Kasich’s campaign instead fell another half a million back from Strickland’s CoH advantage.

(The vapors Jon Keeling is expressing about Strickand’s campaign finance report on Twitter right now seems to suggest that I was right.  The Kasich campaign was surprised to see Strickland keep up with their ’12 GOP Presidential hopefuls tour through Ohio.)

  • Attorney General: Richard Cordray reports raising nearly half a million.  He reported $3.5 million on hand*, but he reported no expenditures which means that figure is not reliable as a true statement of his campaign warchest.

Mike DeWine actually showed some signs of life for the first time in the entire campaign.  DeWine raised over $900k in July.  Didn’t report expenditures so his $2.1 million on hand* is misleading.

  • Secretary of State: Maryellen O’Shaugnessy reported only raising $142,694.18, she reported no expenditures, so her over $600k on hand* is misleading.  It would appear we don’t even need to see Husted’s report to know that his financial dominance in the race continues.

As expected, Husted raised over $375k.  He reported over $2.5 million on hand*, but again, no expenditures, so no idea how much he actually has.

O’Shaugnessy got in the race late after we, and many other Democrats, found Jennifer Garrison unacceptable ballot box poison.  The reality is that if her fundraising fortunes do not make a history-making turnaround immediately, her only hope is to piggy back off the OFA and ODP’s coordinated campaign.  Fortunately, a downticket race for the Apportionment Board like SoS is one where plenty of candidates can rely on coordinated campaigns and win.

Want proof?  Four years ago, at this point in the cycle, Jennifer Brunner raised less money and had less on hand than O’Shaughnessy has and was at a financial disadvantage to her GOP opponent.

  • Chief Justice: Strickland’s appointee to Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, Eric Brown, reported raising  $75k and having nearly a quarter of a million on hand*, but reported no expenditures so it is misleading.

Brown’s opponent, Justice O’Connor raised $161k and has $467k on hand*, but with no reported expenditures, you can’t really rely on that.

  • State Treasurer  Kevin Boyce is running out of time.  Josh Mandel raised $500k to Boyce’s $176k.  Boyce’s filing, curiously, claimed that there was no carryover from the last report.  Mandel reported $3 million on hand*, but since he reported no expenditures…

The last report showed Mandel with a $2.5 million to $1 million advantage.  That’s actually not a big enough one to count Boyce out if it’s still roughly that ratio, but Boyce cannot allow Mandel to continue to expand that advantage.

  • Auditor:  Well, David Yost’s entirely laughable poll must have helped him raise money as it was intended.  He raised $228k to Pepper’s $211k.  However, neither Yost or Pepper reported their expenses (such as Yost’s cost to have Wenzel Strategies do its “poll”).   Furthermore, Yost entered into this reporting period with only $38k on hand to Pepper’s $1.2 million.  The $17k addition he raised over Pepper minus the cost of the poll Yost had to do to convince people he was still viable means he’s unlikely to eliminate Pepper’s enormous financial advantage in the final months of the campaign.

Stay tuned for updates!

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