Fundraising in suburban Dayton state Senate race may make it one to watch

A state representative and a former Air Force fighter pilot have raised the most money so far among candidates seeking party nominations for the open 6th District Ohio Senate seat which covers several Dayton suburbs.

State Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, edged out Centerville Democrat Mark Fogel in fundraising by about $600 last year in a five-candidate fight to replace longtime state Sen. Peggy Lehner, according campaign finance reports filed with the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office.

Lehner is not able to run again due to term limits.

Antani raised $20,125 in contributions in 2019 while Fogel listed $19,561, reports state. Both parties will have March 17 primaries in the district that covers multiple suburban communities including Kettering, Huber Heights, Riverside, Centerville, Miami Twp., Miamisburg, Washington Twp., West Carrollton, Oakwood, Vandalia, Englewood Germantown and parts of Dayton and Clayton.

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Antani is squaring off in the GOP primary against political newcomers Rachel Selby and Greg Robinson for a seat the party has held since 1985.

Selby, of Washington Twp., had $2,500 in contributions while Robinson, an Oakwood resident, had none, according to filings.

Huber Heights resident Albert Griggs Jr., who will face Fogel on next month’s ballot for the Democratic nomination, also listed no contributions last year, records indicate.

Antani has represented the 42nd Ohio House District for nearly six years. He has the largest campaign war chest, having carried over $61,542 in previous contributions and spent $39,695, giving him a balance of $41,702, according to state records.

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His 54 contributions last year included 19 political action committees, 11 of which are out of state, records show. The largest PAC contribution was Realtors Political Action Committee, of Columbus, which gave $2,500.

Meanwhile, Molina Health Care PAC, of Long Beach Calif., donated $1,500 while Abbott Laboratories Employee PAC, of Abbott Park, Ill., gave $1,000, records state.

The largest individual donation was from Michael Mergler, of Kettering, who gave $1,000. Several contributed $500, according to his report.

Fogel’s report includes 104 contributions. The two biggest individual donors were Bobbie Fogel at $5,100 and Steve Fogel at $5,000, records state. Samuel Dorf of Oakwood also gave $800.

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No PACs are listed in Fogel’s campaign finance report filing. The vast majority of Fogel’s contributions are $100 or less, records show.

Fogel spent $645 last year, giving him a balance of $18,915, filings state.

Selby report listed eight contributions, including two for $1,000 each from Deborah Bartone and Jeff Bartone. All were individual contributors who gave at least $50 and made their donations the last week of 2019, records show.

Selby’s 2019 expenditures totaled $99, giving her a balance of $2,401, according to records.

The two primary races for the 6th Senate district are among eight contested state House and Senate primary races on the March 17 ballot.

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  • The deadline to register to vote for the Ohio primary election is Feb. 18.
  • Early voting starts on Feb. 19.
  • The Ohio primary is set for March 17.

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