COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Republican Jim Renacci spent as much as $12 million in his failed primary bid against Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine — only about $290,000 of it from outside donors, records show.
Post-primary campaign finance reports filed Friday complete the picture of spending in the May 3 race, in which the governor bested Renacci and two other GOP challengers. DeWine will face Democrat Nan Whaley, the former mayor of Dayton, this fall.
Renacci, a former congressman from Wadsworth, reported loaning his campaign a combined $15 million, while raising just $290,000 in contributions. A portion of the $12 million he reported spending may have gone to loan repayments, taking actual campaign spending to closer to $5 million.
Renacci reported spending nearly $4 million in his final push against DeWine, an assault that took particular aim at the governor’s COVID-19 policies.
DeWine reported spending $6.8 million during the primary season. He raised an additional $2 million for the period ending June 3 and reports heading into the fall with nearly $7 million on hand. DeWine’s balances include a $4 million personal loan he gave his campaign.
Whaley reported raising over $1 million for the period, but she has a tenth of DeWine’s war chest on hand — just $708,000 — as general election campaigning kicks off. A review of her filings shows she raised about $4.5 million since the beginning of her campaign, and spent about $4 million of it.
Whaley’s primary rival, former Democratic Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, raised and spent about $3.2 million.
Overall, incumbent Republicans for statewide office head into fall contests much better positioned financially than their Democratic rivals:
— For attorney general, Republican Dave Yost has roughly $2.3 million on hand, compared with about $130,000 for Democratic state Rep. Jeffrey Crossman.
— For secretary of state, Republican Frank LaRose has $1.9 million in the bank, compared with about $35,000 for Democrat Chelsea Clark.
— For auditor, Republican Keith Faber has almost $1.4 million on hand, compared with $20,000 for Democrat Taylor Sappington.
— For treasurer, Republican Robert Sprague has just under $860,000 in his account, compared with $121,000 for Democrat Scott Schertzer.