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Richard Cordray narrows fundraising gap with Mike DeWine in Ohio’s governor race

August 3, 2018

Richard Cordray narrows fundraising gap with Mike DeWine in Ohio’s governor race

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CLEVELAND, Ohio — In June, Mike DeWine had about three times as much campaign cash as Richard Cordray, his Democratic opponent in the Ohio governor’s race.

Now, he has around twice as much, according to new campaign finance reports filed Friday.

Cordray, the former director of the national Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, reported raising $2.7 million since mid-June. Meanwhile, DeWine, the state attorney general, reported raising nearly $2.4 million during the same time period. Taking into account campaign expenditures — records of which candidates were not required to file on Friday —  Cordray now has $5.3 million in cash on hand, while DeWine has $9.6 million. 

That compares to the $2.6 million in cash Cordray reported, and the $7.2 million DeWine reported, on June 15, the last time candidates were required to report their campaign finances.

DeWine’s campaign fundraising advantage is bolstered by the $1 million he loaned himself last July.

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Meanwhile, in the down-ticket races, the Democratic showed more fundraising strength again generally out-raising their Republican opponents.

Fundraising for the top-of-the ticket races is the most important, since their success largely dictates the success of the rest of the party ticket. But down-ticket Democrats should be encouraged that they are doing more than enough to carry their own.

Steve Dettelbach, the Democratic former U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, out-raised his Republican opponent in the Ohio Attorney General’s race, state Auditor Dave Yost, $751,400 to $237,955. Dettelbach now has $3.4 million in cash on hand, compared to Yost’s $3 million.

In the secretary of state’s race, Republican state Sen. Frank LaRose raised $462,754, compared to $338,019 from State Rep. Kathleen Clyde, a Democrat. Clyde now has nearly $1.5 million in cash on hand, compared to LaRose’s roughly $1.4 million.

In the state auditor’s race, Former U.S. Rep. Zack Space, a Democrat, out-raised his Republican opponent, state Rep. Keith Faber, $239,331 to $157,156. But Faber has more cash on hand, about $1 million, compared to Space’s $844,528.

In the state treasurer’s race Democrat Rob Richardson led his Republican opponent, state Rep. Robert Sprague in both fundraising and overall campaign cash. Richardson raised $468,222 and reported about $1 million in cash on hand, compared to Sprague’s $109,475 and $362,317, respectively.

Of Cordray’s donations, 82 percent of them came from Ohio, compared to 87 percent for DeWine.

Cordray had 8,100-plus donors, who gave an average of $327. DeWine had around 1,400, who gave an average of $1,530.

Some of Cordray’s big donors were International Association of Firefighters PAC, Lyna Lam of San Francisco, David Maltz, of Beachwood and the Ohio Education Association -- all of whom gave the $12,707.79 per-donor maximum. The Ohio Democratic Party also gave Cordray $706,000, split between two party accounts.

Some of DeWine’s big donors include maximum $12,707.79 contributions from Michael and Michelle Mathile, of Dayton. Clayton Mathile, the billionare founder of the Iams pet food company, is a major financial supporter of Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, DeWine’s running mate.

Westlake car dealer Bernie Moreno and his wife, Bridget, also gave DeWine the maximum amount, as did James A. Haslam and Natalie Haslam. James Haslam is the former governor of Tennesse, and his son, Jimmy, owns the Cleveland Browns. 

The Ohio Republican Party gave DeWine $100,000, and the Summit County Republican Party gave him $20,000. 

Cordray began putting his money to work on Friday, reserving a six-figure TV ad buy in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Dayton. DeWine, Ohio’s attorney general, is considered to be favored, but polling has showed a tight race. The November election is a rematch of the 2010 Ohio attorney general’s race, in which DeWine beat Cordray.

Cleveland.com reporter Jackie Borchardt contributed to this story

An earlier version of this story provided incorrect fundraising totals for Frank LaRose.

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