Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine spent $4.9 million and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor spent $1.9 million trying to knock each other down and promote their own chances of winning the Republican nomination for governor in the May 8 primary, according to campaign finance reports filed Thursday.
On top of that, DeWine received $613,400 in help from the Ohio Republican Party and Taylor benefited from support from a federal super PAC, Onward Ohio. The PAC spent $1.56-million and raised $874,300 so far this cycle, according to OpenSecrets.org. Most of the donations came from the Independence and Freedom Network, based in Washington, D.C.
Taylor’s report shows her spending on par with DeWine, but that’s because she repaid a $3 million loan she made earlier in the campaign and then reissued the loan this spring.
Meanwhile, in the six-man Democratic primary race, former Attorney General Richard Cordray spent $1.7-million rebuilding his profile after a seven year absence from the Ohio political scene. His chief rival, former Congressman Dennis Kucinich, spent $317,372, largely on yard signs, mailings and consultants.
State Sen. Joe Schiavoni, D-Boardman, and former Ohio Supreme Court justice Bill O’Neill came in third and fourth, respectively, in fundraising totals for Democrats in the gubernatorial primary.
On both sides of the aisle, candidates are blowing precious resources —nearly $9 million combined — against primary opponents and will need to replenish the cash to compete in the November general election.
The pre-primary reports show fundraising and spending between Jan. 1 and April 18. For committees that didn’t file annual reports, the activity window covers Dec. 8, 2017 to April 18.
The reports show:
DeWine: $1.7 million raised, $4.9 million spent, $7.4 million cash on hand; $1 million personal loan outstanding.
Taylor: $469,496, raised, $1.9 million spent; $1.99 million cash-on-hand; $3 million personal loan outstanding and a $250,000 loan from running mate Nathan Estruth outstanding.
Cordray: $1.36 million raised, spent $1.7 million spent, $1.65 million cash on hand.
Kucinich: $592,127 raised, $317,372 spent, $274,754 cash on hand.
Schiavoni: $87,105 raised, $290,807 spent,$72,960 cash on hand.
O’Neill: $68,268 raised, spent $78,944 and $5,325 cash on hand.
In the down ticket races, Democrats had a strong showing, outraising Republicans:
Attorney General: Democrat Steve Dettlebach raised $830,608; Republican Dave Yost raised $663,517.
Auditor: Democrat Zack Space raised $351,840; Republican Keith Faber raised $114,022.
Secretary of State: Democrat Kathleen Clyde raised $441,196; Republican Frank LaRose raised $118,049.
Treasurer: Democrat Rob Richardson raised $348,141; Republican Robert Sprague raised $117,978.
Because of term limits, each executive office seat is an open race this year.