Six Democratic challengers outraised Ohio Republican U.S. House members last quarter, including one who raised more than three times the amount of the senior Republican in the state’s House delegation.
With weeks to go until Election Day, Democrats Aftab Pureval, Danny O’Connor, Ken Harbaugh, Janet Garrett, Betsy Rader and Theresa Gasper raised more than their GOP opponents, giving credence to the idea of additional Democratic enthusiasm this November.
Pureval, the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts, raised $1.53 million between July 1 and Sept. 30, compared to the $433,868 Rep. Steve Chabot of Cincinnati raised. While most other GOP incumbents have enough in their reserves to make up the difference, Chabot, is the exception: He has raised $960,062 to date this cycle compared to the $3.1 million Pureval has raised and has $882,190 in the bank compared to Pureval’s $1.08 million.
Chabot does, however, have the backing of a super PAC affiliated with House Speaker Paul Ryan. That group, the Congressional Leadership Fund, has poured $2.5 million into the race on Chabot’s behalf.
In the other most highly watched Ohio race in the cycle, Republican Troy Balderson has $387,588 in the bank to spend for his re-election compared to Democrat Danny O’Connor’s $1.06 million in central Ohio’s 12th District.
Balderson, a Zanesville Republican, narrowly beat O’Connor during the Aug. 7 special election to represent a seat previously held by Rep. Pat Tiberi, who retired in January. Balderson and O’Connor are now fighting for a full two-year term.
While most candidates reported what they raised between July 1 and Sept. 30, Balderson and O’Connor filed reports covering the period between Aug. 28 and Sept. 30 – reflecting the period that came after the special election. Balderson raised $357,720 during that period, while O’Connor raised $1.3 million during that time.
Three of the candidates who outraised their GOP opponents were women. Janet Garrett, challenging Rep. Jim Jordan in western Ohio’s 4th congressional district, raised $351,207 last quarter, in part by fundraising on reports that Jordan was aware of but ignored sexual abuse allegations while he was an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University decades ago.
Jordan, who has consistently denied knowing about abuse at OSU, used $38,000 of his donations last quarter to pay the public relations firm that has helped defend him against the allegations.
Jordan, an Urbana Republican who is seeking to replace Ryan as speaker, raised $259,977 last quarter. Still, Jordan holds an overall fundraising advantage, with $1.5 million in the bank to Garrett’s $238,845.
In the Dayton area, Democrat Theresa Gasper, a political newcomer, raised $455,506 last quarter – more than twice the $176,289 Rep. Mike Turner raised during the same period. To date, however, Turner has raised $1.12 million and has $328,251 in the bank. Gasper has raised $924,035 and has $139,017 in the bank. She also loaned herself $115,000.
Elsewhere in southwest Ohio, Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Troy, raised $108,304 last quarter, while his Democratic opponent, Vanessa Enoch, raised $35,156. Davidson has $315,525 in the bank while Enoch has $14,579 to spend. Davidson also has $250,000 in debt from prior campaigns.
In the Cincinnati-area 2nd District, Rep. Brad Wenstrup raised $262,263 last quarter to Democrat Jill Schiller’s $184,335. Wenstrup has $991,896 in the bank while Schiller has $170,080 and $250,000 in debt.
Elsewhere in Ohio
In northeast Ohio, Rep. David Joyce is fending off a challenge from Democrat Betsy Rader, who raised $714,646 last quarter to Joyce’s $552,996. Joyce has $1.12 million in the bank and Rader has $297,945, including a debt to the campaign of $20,000.
Perhaps the most consistent Democrat of the challengers has been Ken Harbaugh, who has regularly outraised Rep. Bob Gibbs in eastern Ohio’s 7th congressional district. Harbaugh raised $829,807 last quarter to Gibbs’ $266,986. But Gibbs has $1.64 million in the bank to Harbaugh’s $507,444. Gibbs also had $10,000 in debt.
In the Senate race, meanwhile, Rep. Jim Renacci announced that he raised $1.75 million in his bid to unseat two-term Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. That sum includes contributions to Renacci for Senate as well as the Renacci for Ohio Victory Fund, according to a press release issued Monday.
Renacci for Senate alone raised $1.13 million last quarter and has raised nearly $7.4 million this cycle, including $4 million loaned from the candidate. Renacci had $4.3 million in the bank as of Sept. 30.
Brown announced last week that he raised $3.75 million and has raised $27 million to date this cycle. He has nearly $8.2 million in the bank, according to his FEC report.