Today, the annual campaign finance reports were due for the State candidates. And it’s kind of shocking frankly. The report covers all campaign activity from July 1, 2011 until the end of the year.
According to the Secretary of State’s website, Mike DeWine’s campaign raised over $574,000 but spent nearly a million due to outstanding loans the committee owed DeWine personally for loans DeWine made in order to barely defeat Richard Cordray. The report also shows over $10,000 in just legal fees. According to the Secretary of State’s campaign finance website, DeWine’s campaign only has a little over $134,000 on hand. Oh, and the Ohio Republican Party donated $226,000 to his campaign (39% of what DeWine raised.)
Jon Husted raised the second most (technically first if you exclude ORP’s donation to DeWine) with $353,000. Husted kept his campaign expenses low and has $424k on hand.
Democratic Justice Yvette McGee Brown’s campaign raised an impressive $212,813 over the past six months and has over $209,000 on hand. Her opponent, Butler County Domestic Relations Judge Sharon Kennedy’s campaign raised over $152k and has over $141k on hand.
Justice Cupp’s campaign, who is on the ballot this November, raised over $84k and has about $83k on hand. Fanon Rucker, the Ohio Democratic Party’s endorsed candidate, raised only $4k and has nearly $13k on hand. Bill O’Neill, Rucker’s primary opponent, has not filed a report at the time this was posted.
Governor John Kasich, on the other hand, had a less than impressive fundraising period (but not from a lack of effort). His campaign, which has been in constant operation since the 2010 election, raised only $201k, but spent $214k, mostly on catering and fundraising consultant fees. The campaign had to refund donations to Scott O’Donnell who sits on the Capital Square Foundation and former Superintendent of the Ohio Division of Financial Institutions (state bank regulatory agency.)
Kasich’s campaign also refunded a $500 donation from Diane Brey, an attorney who works in the Governor’s Counsels Office ($90k salary). ODOT Director Jerry Wray also had a $500 donation refunded by the campaign. Brenda Collins, who if my research is correct, may be the one who is a Lt. in the Ohio Highway Patrol. A $250 donation by Chris Tesi who apparently works in a Deputy Director’s Office of the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services. And Lloyd Welker, yet another ODOT manager, who donated $250.
Kasich has banked a little over $360k over all. State Auditor David Yost raised $165k and has $216k on hand. Josh Mandel’s Treasurer campaign raised no money and has $218.92 on hand. For the first time, former State Treasurer Kevin Boyce actually has more money on hand than current Treasurer Josh Mandel.
To give you a little perspective, at the same point in their terms in 2007, Governor Strickland raised over $677k and had nearly $384k on hand (Strickland’s campaign also donated $15k a piece to both the House and Senate Democratic caucuses. Kasich? Not so much.)
Jennifer Brunner, who never was a fundraiser as we all painfully saw during her Senate campaign, raised nearly $41k and had over $54k on hand. Cordray raised only $77k but had over $500k on hand. And Marc Dann, who would be forced to resign later that year, raised over $362k and had over $494k on hand.
So the 2010 GOP incumbents begin their second year in office, with less money on hand than most of the 2007 Democratic incumbents had. John Kasich, despite traveling the country trying to raise money last year, raised roughly a third of what Ted Strickland was able to raise four years earlier and has even less on hand.
In other words, from a financial standpoint, each one of these GOP incumbents have not built up a serious campaign finance warchest that should scare off serious Democratic challengers in 2014.