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Danny O’Connor’s congressional campaign raises nearly $6 million in three months

October 3, 2018

Danny O’Connor’s congressional campaign raises nearly $6 million in three months

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Democrat Danny O’Connor’s campaign for Ohio’s 12th Congressional District is continuing to rake in money, reporting that it has raised almost $6 million in the past three months.

O’Connor’s contribution levels between July 1 and Sept. 30 are inflated because of the Aug. 7 special election, which he narrowly lost to now-U.S. Rep. Troy Balderson. But O’Connor, the Franklin County recorder, raised about $2.3 million since Aug. 7 and is headed into the final weeks of the campaign with slightly more than $1 million on hand, according to campaign manager Annie Ellison.

“We’re proud of the grassroots movement behind Danny’s campaign for new leadership that isn’t beholden to any donor or party boss,” Ellison said in a statement.

“Obviously, those are really good numbers – I mean, that’s an incredible quarter,” said Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.

Kondik said he’s more interested to see what Balderson has raised, as the Zanesville Republican received significant advertising help from GOP-leaning groups during the special election campaign. With Republicans in trouble in dozens of House seats around the country, Balderson likely won’t be able to rely on the same level of outside spending in the general election.

A Balderson spokesman said they’re not releasing their latest campaign-finance numbers yet. They have until Oct. 15 to file their third-quarter report with the Federal Election Commission.

However, Balderson’s campaign reported about $505,000 in contributions between July 19 and Aug. 27; O’Connor’s campaign raised just over $4 million during that same period, according to the FEC.

“I don’t know if the cavalry’s going to able to come in and help him this time,” Kondik said.

As usual, much of the money raised by campaigns is being spent on ads – in particular, TV ads. And TV ad rates are getting expensive ahead of the Nov. 6 election – in the Columbus media market, O’Connor and Balderson are fighting for air time with candidates for U.S. Senate, Ohio governor and others. Even Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers in House District 15, who’s expected to beat Democrat Rick Neal, has purchased air time.

On the other hand, Balderson is an incumbent congressman now. And he’s running in a GOP-friendly district that was designed by Republicans to withstand a Democratic “blue wave.”

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