Republican congressional incumbents took in more campaign cash between July and September, but in the 16th District race, Democrat Betty Sutton started October with more cash in the bank because she spent far less than Republican Jim Renacci.
Campaign finance reports for the third quarter filed this week with the Federal Election Commission show Republican incumbent congressmen seeking to represent Stark County again raised more campaign cash than their Democratic opponents.
In the competitive 16th District race, the campaign of U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Wadsworth, raised more than $652,000 between July 1 and Sept. 30, outpacing U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton, D-Copley Township, who raised nearly $595,000.
However, Sutton began October with a cash advantage because she spent only $284,550 in the last quarter and waited until this month to launch her ad campaign. Renacci spent $1.08 million, which included at least $780,000 on advertising. Sutton finished the quarter with $1.21 million in cash, while Renacci ended with $1.02 million.
In a move that reduced his edge, Renacci refunded $100,000 in July to 25 employees of Suarez Corporation Industries and their spouses, who each had given Renacci $5,000. The FBI last year launched an investigation into whether the employees voluntarily made the large contributions without promise of reimbursement. Suarez officials have said their actions were proper.
After refunds, Renacci’s net contributions for the election cycle were $2.67 million, compared to $2.1 million for Sutton for the cycle.
In the third quarter, Renacci got $2,500 contributions, the most that can be given for the general election, from at least 34 donors in Ohio and six other states. They included billionaires Charles Schwab and Thomas Peterffy, the CEO of Conn.-based Interactive Brokers Group and Beaver Excavating executive W. Mark Sterling of Meyers Lake. Other donors included Freshmark CEO Neil Genshaft of Jackson Township who gave $1,000, Aultman Hospital CEO Edward Roth III who gave $1,000 and Standard Plumbing & Heating president David Grabowski and his wife, Laura, who gave $3,000.
Political action committees giving $5,000 to Renacci included that of the Timken Co., J.P. Morgan Chase and Pepper Pike-based coal producer Murray Energy.
Eight Murray Energy employees gave Renacci’s campaign an additional $5,500 in cash plus $670 to cover postage costs. One who gave $500 was listed as a Murray coal miner. The Ohio Democratic Party has called for an investigation of allegations first published by The New Republic that Murray Energy illegally put excessive pressure on its employees to contribute to Republicans, the Plain Dealer reported. Murray Energy said it followed the law.
Sutton received numerous contributions from college professors, doctors, attorneys and TV executives around the country, including $1,000 from Canton attorney Brian Zimmerman and $2,000 from the Canton law firm Tzangas Plakas. Sutton got at least ten $2,500 contributions from donors in Ohio and six other states.
PACs giving $5,000 to Sutton included those of the Air Line Pilots Association, EMILY’s List, National Beer Wholesalers Association and Planned Parenthood.
In the 7th District contest, Democratic candidate Joyce Healy-Abrams loaned her campaign another $174,000 to help finance an advertising offensive on Cleveland TV after Labor Day. She’s loaned herself a net $270,500. However, after spending nearly $540,000 in the quarter, including $379,000 on media consulting and advertising, she finished the quarter with just $46,357.
Page 2 of 2 - Incumbent candidate U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Lakeville, ended September in a superior financial position. He raised about $282,000 in the quarter, a total of $1.48 million for the cycle, while Healy-Abrams has received about $203,000 in contributions, a total of about $493,000 for the cycle.
Gibbs spent about $780,000, leaving him with $390,000 in cash. He paid media expenses of at least $679,000 and incurred debt of $17,500 owed to political consultants.
Gibbs had 14 individuals each give $2,500, including Timken Co. Chairman W.J. “Tim” Timken, Jr. and his wife, Stark County Republican Vice Chairwoman Jane Timken, William H. Belden, the chairman of Belden Brick Co., Robert Shearer, CEO of Shearer Foods and Tim Smucker, the chairman of J.M. Smucker Co. Other donors included Keith Kimble, of Dover, owner of Kimble Industries, who gave $2,000; Don DeVille, the owner of DeVille Apartments, who gave $1,000; and $2,500 from three Aultman Health Foundation executives.
PACs giving at $5,000 to Gibbs included that of H.J. Heinz Co. in Pittsburgh, Associated Builders and Contractors and American Health Care Association
Healy-Abrams’ fundraising list included many attorneys and union representatives. She got four $2,500 contributions from individuals, but PACs giving at least $5,000 to her included that of many unions such as the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the American Federation of Teachers and the United Steelworkers.
In the 13th District race, Republican candidate Marisha Agana, who’s gotten no support from corporate PACs, raised $18,705 in the quarter, a total of $38,568 for the election cycle. She spent just under $20,000 in the quarter, leaving her with less than $3,200 in cash. Incumbent U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Niles, raised about $180,000, a total of $911,000 for the cycle. He spent nearly $100,000, giving $50,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and thousands to Democratic candidates such as Healy-Abrams and Sutton, leaving him with more than $252,000.