It’s official: Ohio Issue 2 most expensive state campaign ever

5:14 p.m Friday, Dec. 15, 2017 News
A public forum on state Issue 2 was held Thursday, Oct. 12, at Sinclair College. LISA POWELL / STAFF

The two sides of this November’s Issue 2 spent a total of more than $74 million, according to final post-election campaign finance reports submitted today.

The ballot issue on prescription drug prices shattered previous records for campaign money raised, with most of the spending coming from opponents who were backed by pharmaceutical manufacturers.

RELATED: Ohio Issue 2 fails; confusion blamed

Ohioans Against the Deceptive Rx Ballot Issue raised and spent a total of nearly $57 million. The campaign didn’t bring in any new money after the pre-election campaign finance filing deadline, but spent $7.3 million it had on hand in the final days before the polls.

The total fell short of projections by Issue 2 supporters that the combined spending would top $90 million.

RELATED: Issue 2 trouncing won’t end debate over high drug prices

Ohio Taxpayers for Lower Drug Prices, supporters of the issue that would have capped what the state of Ohio pays for prescription drugs at the lowest price paid by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, raised and spent and additional $1.5 million during the final days of the campaign.

In total, the Yes on 2 campaign spent about $17.5 million.

The ballot issue was defeated by voters by a margin of 79 to 21 percent.

The previous record for spending on a ballot issue was just shy of $73 million spent during the 2009 battle over casinos in Ohio. The winning side of that issue outspent opponents $47.2 million to $25.7 million.

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