Four of the 10 Ohio Republicans seeking re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives were outraised by their Democratic challengers during the first three months of this year — a possible indication that Democrats will be more competitive in congressional races this year.
Reps. Mike Turner of Dayton, Steve Chabot of Cincinnati, David Joyce of northeast Ohio and Bob Gibbs of Lakeville all lagged behind Democrats in campaign fundraising last quarter. In Chabot’s case, the lag was steep: He raised $171,335 in the quarter compared to $664,347 for Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval. Neither candidate spent any of his own money on the race.
In Turner’s district, Theresa Gasper, a small businesswoman from Dayton, raised $209,645 — $50,000 of it her own money — to pull in more than twice what Turner, an eight-term congressman from Dayton, raised last quarter. Turner raised $103,807.
Gasper is one of three Democrats on the May 8 Democratic ballot. The others are Robert Klepinger of Dayton and Michael Milisits of Huber Heights. Turner is running against John Anderson of Enon and John Mitchel of Beavercreek in the Republican primary. Milisits raised $9,127, according his report and had $6,734 on hand as of March 31. Klepinger, Mitchel, and Anderson did not have reports filed with the Federal Election Commission, indicating that either the FEC had not processed they had not yet raised or spent $5,000, the amount over which candidates must file reports.
Both Turner and Chabot can draw on money raised earlier this cycle and in past campaigns. Turner has raised $687,949 during his current term and Chabot has raised $404,860. Chabot has $1.3 million in the bank, while Turner has $566,366. Pureval has $650,765 in the bank — roughly half of what Chabot has — while Gasper has $141,244 on hand.
Also in southwest Ohio, Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Troy, raised $102,277 between Jan. 1 and March 31 and had $221,161 in the bank. He has $250,000 in outstanding campaign debt, presumably from his first campaign.
Democrat Vanessa Enoch has raised $5,968 to date and has $1,395 in the bank. And Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, raised $69,676 last quarter and has nearly $1.4 million in the bank, while his challenger, Janet Garrett, has raised $29,211 and has $33,694 in the bank.
Republicans held fundraising advantages in both open seats in the state. In the state’s 16th congressional district, currently represented by U.S. Senate candidate Jim Renacci of Wadsworth, former NFL wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez raised $224,616 last quarter and has $703,682 in the bank. His primary Republican opponent, state Rep. Christina Hagan of Marlboro Twp., raised $90,790 last quarter and had $184,094 in the bank. Democrat Grant Goodrich of Cleveland raised $77,192 last quarter and has $48,919 in the bank.
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Perhaps the most crowded ballot in Ohio is in the state’s 12th congressional district, where former Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Columbus, left for a job leading the Ohio Business Roundtable. Republican candidates raised $1.39 million compared to $301,132 for Democrats last quarter, according to the FEC reports.
Overall, incumbents continue to have a huge financial advantage: The 13 Ohio lawmakers seeking re-election raised $2.54 million last quarter and have $14.4 million in the bank. Challengers, meanwhile, raised $2.35 million last quarter and had $3.28 million in the bank, according to an analysis of FEC data.