Antani ahead in fundraising, spending in Ohio Senate race

EDITOR’S NOTE: Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Ohio primary election was moved from March 17. The deadline to vote in the Ohio primary election is April 28. Voters must request an absentee ballot from their county’s board of election if they have not already voted. All absentee ballots mailed in must have a postmark of April 27 to be counted, and all ballots must be received by the boards by May 8 to be counted. Voters can drop off the ballots to board offices in person by 7:30 p.m. April 28. In-person voting will be offered on April 28, but will only occur at boards of elections early voting center and only be available for people with disabilities who require in-person voting and people who do not have a home mailing address. Local election officials say voters need to make sure they include all the required information on absentee ballot request forms and pay close attention to unsolicited request forms they get in the mail. State law allows ballots to be scanned but they cannot be tabulated until 7:30 p.m. April 28.

One 6th District Ohio Senate candidate outraised and outspent all the other candidates leading up to the primary election delayed by COVID-19.

State Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, raised $36,064 and spent $67,264, state records show, as one of five candidates seeking the seat being vacated by Kettering Republican Peggy Lehner due to term limits.

The candidate Lehner endorsed — Rachel Selby, R-Washington Twp. — raised $23,475 and spent $2,355 before the March 5 deadline for filing campaign finance reports with the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office, according to records.

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Neither of the other three candidates — Republican Greg Robinson of Oakwood, and Democrats Mark Fogel of Centerville and Albert Griggs Jr. of Huber Heights — raised more than $6,151 or spent more than $2,472 during the reporting period, the filings show.

The seat — which pays $60,584 a year — covers part of Dayton and multiple suburban communities, including Kettering, Huber Heights, Riverside, Centerville, Miamisburg, Miami Twp., Washington Twp., West Carrollton, Oakwood and Germantown.

The March 17 primary was postponed due to the coronavirus. The state legislature voted Wednesday to extend absentee voting to April 28 and no additional in-person voting will be held.

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Republicans are on one ballot while Democrats are on the other. The winners will face off in November for the four-year seat the GOP has held since 1985.

Antani entered the filing period with $41,702. That’s more than $35,000 than all other candidates. Robinson had $6,150, Selby $2,401, Griggs $198 and Fogel no money, state records show.

Robinson loaned his campaign $25,500, leaving a balance $30,007 as of the filing deadline. Selby had the second most funds on hand with $23,521, followed by Antani at $10,501, according to records.

Fogel had $4,935 in contributions and spent $2,471, leaving him with $2,464. Griggs reported no contributions, but loaned his campaign $4,758 and had a balance of $198, records show.

The South Metro Republican Club gave each of the GOP candidates $50 and Antani accepted contributions from six other organizations or political action committees, totaling $4,500. Selby and Robinson did not receive any other funds from organizations; neither did Fogel or Griggs, according to filings.

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Selby led all candidates with 74 individuals contributions, including $10,000 from Lehner, $2,500 from businessman Greg McAfee and $1,000 from Sharon Lowry of Washington Twp., records show. All contributors were Dayton-area residents.

Antani listed 70 individual contributors, with 13 giving $1,000 each. They included $3,000 from Kokila Antani of Miamisburg, $2,500 from Srikanth Paladugu of Miamisburg, and $2,000 from Shekar Reddy of Plantation, Florida, records show

He received 20 out-of-state individual contributions totaling $7,649.

Fogel had 53 individual contributors, 18 from out of state. His largest donors were Julie Keck of Noblesville, Ind., and Dawn Ross of Centerville, each of whom gave $500, according to filings.

Robinson had 11 individual contributions, including a $5,000 one from Scott Stearns in Cottage Grove, Wisconsin, records show.

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