Pre-primary campaign reports: Kasich spends more so far than FitzGerald in Ohio governor race

by MARC KOVAC CAPITAL BUREAU CHIEF Published:

Columbus -- Gov. John Kasich's reelection campaign is well ahead of his main Democratic challenger, with more than $8.5 million in cash on hand.

The total was more than five times that reported by Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald on pre-primary campaign finance filings April 24.

Other Republican statewide office-holders had more money in the bank in the latest round of disclosures, though Democrats in a few races out-raised the incumbents during the reporting period.

Kasich's campaign reported nearly $1.5 million in contributions and spending of about $863,000.

"Our campaign is in a very strong financial position heading into May thanks to broad grassroots support from the thousands of middle-class Ohioans who have chipped in to help our team," Kasich campaign manager Matt Carle said in a released statement. "Clearly Ohioans see that John Kasich is producing results, and they want to keep our state moving forward and creating jobs for another four years."

FitzGerald reported more than $642,000 in contributions during the period, including $107,000 added by the Ohio Democratic Party a day earlier.

His campaign spent nearly $574,000, leaving an available balance of $1.5 million.

"Working families are making it clear that their voices won't be silenced by excessive campaign checks from Sheldon Adelson or the governor's political appointees," Nick Buis, FitzGerald's campaign manager, said in a released statement. "The campaign's digital and grassroots fundraising is stronger than ever, pulling in over $462,000 in the last 24 days alone. We look forward to running a campaign for Ohioans funded by Ohioans."

There were no campaign finance disclosures evident for Dayton resident Larry Ealy, who is challenging FitzGerald in the Democratic primary. Ealy, who has campaigned door to door, distributed brochures and appeared at public meetings to discuss his candidacy, does not have the backing of a well-funded campaign.

In other statewide races, Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted reported contributions of more than $308,000 and spending of about $72,000, leaving a balance on hand of more than $2.3 million.

Sen. Nina Turner (D-Cleveland), who hopes to unseat Husted in November, reported contributions of more than $416,000, including $85,000 added by the Ohio Democratic Party State Candidate Fund a day earlier.

Her campaign spent about $221,000 during the reporting period, leaving a balance on hand of nearly $494,000.

Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine reported about $308,000 in contributions and nearly $11,000 in spending, leaving a balance on hand of more than $2.1 million.

Challenger David Pepper, a Democrat who ran for state auditor four years ago, reported nearly $616,000 in contributions, including $80,000 added by the Ohio Democratic Party a day earlier.

His campaign spent close to $214,000, leaving a balance on hand of about $1.2 million.

Republican state Auditor Dave Yost reported contributions approaching $157,000 and spending of about $16,000, leaving a balance of nearly $917,000.

Challenger John Carney, a Democratic lawmaker representing a Columbus-area district, reported more than $328,000 in contributions, including $100,000 provided by the Ohio Democratic Party State Candidate Fund a day earlier.

His campaign spent nearly $209,000 during the reporting period, leaving a balance on hand of close to $736,500.

Republican state Treasurer Josh Mandel reported $592,000 in contributions, including $100,000 added by the Ohio Republican Party State Candidate Fund on Thursday. His campaign spent close to $195,000 during the reporting period, leaving a balance on hand of more than $2.4 million.

State Rep. Connie Pillich (D-Cincinnati), who will challenge Mandel in the general election, reported more than $539,000 in contributions, including $100,000 added April 24 by the Ohio Democratic Party State Candidate Fund.

Her campaign spent more than $171,000 during the period, leaving a balance on hand of close to $1.2 million.

Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at mkovac@dixcom.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.

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