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Speaker of the House Paul Ryan makes fundraising trip to Dayton

House Speaker Paul Ryan raised around $700,000 for House Republicans during a swing through Ohio, including a private event in the Dayton area today.

Ryan was at an undisclosed private home today and had events near Cincinnati and Columbus.

Republicans insisted the fundraisers in Dayton and Cincinnati were for House Republicans in general, not Congressmen Mike Turner and Steve Chabot specifically. The Republican incumbents are facing Democratic opposition in the fall.

The swing culminated Thursday in stop not far from Miami University, where Ryan went to school and got his political start volunteering for retired Speaker John Boehner. Late Thursday, Ryan and Chabot, R-Cincinnati, toured Kroger’s Springdale Ice Cream and Beverage Facility in Cincinnati before holding a forum with employees to discuss tax reform. The event aimed to highlight Kroger’s recent announcement that they’d be boosting wages following the passage of the tax law.

But Ryan’s political events in the state got the most attention. Ryan raised $54 million through the first quarter of 2018, giving more than $40 million of that to the National Republican Congressional Committee for fellow House Republicans.

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He appeared in Cincinnati, where Chabot is fighting off a well-funded challenge from Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval who grew up in Beavercreek, and in Dayton, where Turner, R-Dayton, faces a challenge from Theresa Gasper, a small businesswoman who lives in Beavercreek. Both Gasper and Pureval outraised their GOP opponents last quarter, though Turner and Chabot have substantial war chests from prior campaigns.

“There is great support for the party’s agenda in the Buckeye State, and Speaker Ryan was thrilled to spend time there this week to emphasize the importance of electing Republicans and keeping our House majority working for the American people,” said Jake Kastan, deputy executive director for Ryan’s political team.

Countered Gasper, Turner’s opponent: “This trip is a shameless ploy to score political points and shore up support for Washington politicians like Mike Turner. Ohioans will see through this and soundly reject these harmful policies in November.”

Ryan also headlined a fundraiser along with Sen. Rob Portman and former Rep. Pat Tiberi for state Sen. Troy Balderson, a Zanesville Republican who running for the open 12th District seat in suburban Columbus that Tiberi vacated in January. The fundraiser, which cost $1,000 for guests and $2,700 for hosts, included a reception and a roundtable at a private residence in Dublin.

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