Billionaire philanthropist Clay Mathile donated $1 million to a super PAC that is backing Republican Jon Husted for governor next year, according to federal campaign finance filings.
Between late April and the end of June, Ohio Conservatives for Change raised $1.3 million from four donors: $1 million from Mathile, $125,000 each from Mt. Vernon residents Thomas Ratin and Karen Buchwald Wright and $50,000 from Medical Mutual.
The super PAC, which has a slick website that features photos of Husted and his family, is required to act independently from Husted’s campaign committee.
Mathile made his money in pet food. He started Iams in Dayton and sold the company to Procter & Gamble for $2.3 billion in 1999.
While Husted lives in suburban Columbus, he has deep ties to the Miami Valley. He is a University of Dayton graduate who got his start in government as an aide to a Montgomery County commissioner. Husted worked for the Greater Dayton Chamber of Commerce and represented the Kettering area as a state representative and senator.
The Mathile family has contributed more than $1 million to political candidates and parties in Ohio since 2011, according to state campaign finance reports.
Husted is running the GOP primary against Attorney General Mike DeWine of Cedarville, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor of Green and U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci of Wadsworth.
On the Democratic side, the declared candidates are Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, state Sen. Joe Schiavoni of Boardman, former state representative Connie Pillich of Cincinnati and former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton of Akron.
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