Reports show disparity in amount of donors, money raised in state senate race

Niraj Antani and Mark Fogel
Niraj Antani and Mark Fogel

While the winner of the race for the Ohio Senate 6th District seat is not yet determined, a recent report shows who is ahead in the battle for donations during the most recent stretch of the campaign.

Democratic candidate Mark Fogel outraised by a 3-to-1 margin state Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, who is serving his third term as the representative of the 42nd district of the Ohio House of Representatives.

Fogel’s campaign raised the money via 1,026 more donors than Antani’s.

Antani’s campaign raised $76,746.37, according to a pre-election campaign finance report. Of that amount, $63,242.35, a little more than 82 percent, came from Political Action Committees or PACs, with contributions received from 44 individuals.

Fogel’s campaign raised $242,650.73 via more than 1,500 individual contributions, with unique donors comprising 1,070 of them.

ExploreTwo vie for Ohio Senate seat that represents most of Montgomery County

Fogel, a 40-year-old former Air Force fighter pilot, said he’s raised more during the heart of the campaign cycle because he’s “the one candidate in the race running on the values of the community.”

“It’s no surprise that my campaign is funded by our neighbors, and my opponent’s campaign is funded by PACs,” he said in a statement.

Voters, he said, are “tired of corrupt partisans,” which he said is a reference to Antani voting for the controversial HB6, taking money from the indicted members of Speaker Larry Householder’s inner circle and failing to report a donation to his campaign by Friends of Larry Householder.

Antani, 29, took umbrage with Fogel’s assessment.

“I’m saddened my opponent has resorted to spewing lies and partisan falsehoods,” he told this news outlet. “Voters want someone focused on the issues such as funding public education and making healthcare affordable. While my opponent continues to try to smear me, I will keep working hard everyday for the people.”

The two men are running to replace outgoing state Sen. Peggy Lehner in the Ohio Senate 6th District seat, which covers about two-thirds of Montgomery County, including Kettering, Huber Heights, Riverside, Centerville, Miamisburg, Miami Twp., Washington Twp., West Carrollton, Oakwood, Germantown and part of Dayton.

Held by Republicans since 1985, the seat is being vacated by Lehner, who is facing term limits. The position pays $60,584 a year. The term is four years and members can serve two consecutive four-year terms.

ExploreAntani says failure to report Householder donation ‘a mistake’

A post-primary campaign finance report from earlier this year showed donors and PACs donated a little more than $93,031 to Antani’s campaign between March 5 and June 5. Fogel’s campaign raised just over $19,163 in the same period of time.

Earlier this year, Antani said he pulled bank records and found that a $5,000 donation on Sept. 19, 2018 from Householder was deposited on Oct. 9, 2018. He updated his campaign finance records to fix what he called a mistake.

“It was a clerical error and I am very frustrated and disappointed in myself, and am setting up campaign protocols to make sure it never happens again,” Antani previously told the Dayton Daily News.

Fogel, at the time, called Antani’s failure to report the donation and the timeline of the donation and Antani’s support for Householder as speaker “deeply troubling.”

Both candidates squared off this month in a Dayton Daily News candidate forum held via Zoom, tackling a series of topics ranging from school funding, COVID-19 and race to guns, health care and abortion rights.

ExploreWATCH: Candidates for the Ohio 6th Senatorial District face off via online forum

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