- By Laura A. Bischoff Columbus bureau
Republican Mike DeWine’s campaign war chest is loaded with $10.56 million — a figure he hit with a $4.64 million contribution from his running mate’s now closed campaign account, a $1 million outstanding personal loan and contributions from thousands of supporters.
DeWine’s cash-on-hand total dwarfs the $3.5 million reported by Mary Taylor, his GOP rival for the party nomination. Most of Taylor’s campaign money came from personal loans — $3-million from Taylor and $250,000 from her running mate Nathan Estruth.
In the Democratic primary, former attorney general Richard Cordray raised just over $2-million in the two months since he entered the race.
Former state representative Connie Pillich of Cincinnati reported holding $911,656 in cash after raising $482,856 in the last six months of 2017. State Sen. Joe Schiavoni, D-Boardman, reported raising $261,219 and having $276,662 in cash on hand.
Two other Democratic gubernatorial competitors — Bill O’Neill and Dennis Kucinich — weren’t required to file reports because they had not formed campaign committees during the reporting period. Two others — Betty Sutton and Nan Whaley — abandoned their governor campaigns. Sutton, who is now Cordray’s running mate, donated $111,260 to Cordray’s campaign before shutting down her own campaign account.
Former Ohio GOP chairman Kevin DeWine of Fairborn said Cordray’s challenge is he will be forced to spend money re-introducing himself to Democrats and fend off challengers. “I’m not sure who comes out of that primary,” he said.
Cordray, who has run statewide five times, served as director of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for the past several years — a job that took him out of Ohio politics.
Meanwhile, Mike DeWine, 71, who has held public office for 38 of the past 42 years, is pressing to be on the statewide ballot for an eighth time — more than anyone else since Jim Rhodes ran statewide for a ninth time in 1986. His son, Pat DeWine, sits on the Ohio Supreme Court.
Congressman Jim Renacci, R-Wadsworth, who switched from the governor’s race to campaign for U.S. Senate, reported that he loaned his state campaign committee $6.73 million.
While the governor’s race receives the most attention, candidates for other offices, including Ohio Supreme Court, attorney general, auditor, secretary of state and treasurer also filed reports.
Attorney General: Democrat Steve Dettelbach raised $1.08 million and has $1.5 million cash on hand; Republican Dave Yost raised $648,285 and has $2 million on hand.
Auditor: Democrat Zack Space raised $254,390 and has $225,033 on hand; Republican Keith Faber raised $222,862 and has $675,487 on hand.
Secretary of State: Democrat Kathleen Clyde raised $415,567 and has $634,478 on hand; Republican Frank LaRose raised $365,161 and has $839,101 on hand.
Ohio Supreme Court: Republicans Craig Baldwin reported $14,044 cash on hand and Mary DeGenaro reported $25 cash on hand. Democrats Michael Donnelly reported that he has yet to raise or spend any campaign money and Melody Stewart did not file a report.
The primary election is May 8 while the general election is November 6.