Sports figures back Kasich’s presidential bid

Kasich campaign has just $1M in bank, a small sum in presidential politics.

Sports figures Bobby Rahal, Urban Meyer, Jim Tressel and Jimmy Haslam have all chipped into Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s presidential campaign kitty, but he ended the month with just with $1.16 million in the bank — a paltry sum in the world of serious presidential campaigns.

Rahal, a race car driver and team owner, and his wife, Johanna Rahal, and Youngstown State University president and former OSU football coach Jim Tressel and his wife, Ellen Tressel, each contributed $2,700 — the maximum allowable, according to campaign finance reports. Likewise, Ohio State University head football coach Urban Meyer and Cleveland Browns majority owner Jimmy Haslam each maxed out as well.

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Director Emeritus Jack Hanna, a longtime Kasich supporter who worked with the governor to tighten state laws on exotic animal ownership, chipped in $2,000.

Last month, Kasich for America raised $4.48 million, spent $4.58 million and rounded out March with $1.16 million on hand.

Two political action committees backing Kasich — New Day for America and New Day Independent Media — reported raising a combined $3.57 million and spending $4.9 million. Those PACs reported $1.2 million in cash on hand.

Kasich supporters can make unlimited contributions to the PACs, though the official campaign and political action committees are forbidden from coordinating activities.

The New Day for America report shows that in March, Stanley Druckenmiller, a billionaire hedge fund manager and philanthropist, contributed $400,000, bringing his total donations to the PAC to $700,000. Big money also came from Cleveland Cavaliers owner and casino operator Dan Gilbert, who wrote a $250,000 check to New Day for America in March, upping his total support to $350,000. Hardrock Rocksino, a race track and video gambling site in Northfield, also contributed $50,000 to the PAC.

Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas reported raising $12.5 million in March and he started this month with $8.8 million in cash on hand. Four PACs backing his presidential run reported having $13.5 million in cash.

And billionaire real estate developer Donald Trump reported that he loan his campaign another $11.5 million in March, bringing his personal investment in the run to $36 million.

Information from the Associated Press is included in this report.