It's been a weird and heated gubernatorial primary season in Ohio as candidates race to win nods from their parties so they can contend for term-limited Gov. John Kasich's seat in November. And all the intensity has translated into a lot of money raised and spent.
Today was the deadline for candidates to file pre-primary campaign finance reports with the Ohio Secretary of State's office. Those reports reveal about what you'd expect: the establishment favorites on both sides racked up big bucks, while their opponents took home smaller hauls.
Among Democrats, former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Richard Cordray has the big advantage. The party and labor union favorite has raised about $1.4 million since the beginning of this year. Former U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich was runner up, scoring more than $592,000. State Sen. Joe Schiavoni trailed a distant third, bringing in $87,105. Former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O'Neill rounded out the pack with his $68,268 haul from January to today.
As you might expect, Cordray also has the biggest war chest going forward with $1.6 million in the bank compared to Kucinich's almost $275,000, Schiavoni's $73,000 and O'Neill's slim $5,325.
Meanwhile, GOP primary contender Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine raked in the most dough. He's raised $1.7 million since January to opponent Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor's $410,497. DeWine has about $7.4 million in the bank right now, even after dropping almost $5 million on TV ads against Taylor. Kasich's second-in-command has fired back with her own $5 million in TV ads, but she's outgunned money-wise compared to establishment favorite DeWine's access to big GOP donors. She now has about $2 million on hand.
DeWine has given his campaign about $1 million of his own money, while Taylor and her running mate Nathan Estruth have given their campaign more than $3 million.
Ohio's primary election is May 8.