Butler County candidates for 2022 election already collecting donations

Some voters came to cast their ballots at the Butler County Board of Elections on election day Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
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Some voters came to cast their ballots at the Butler County Board of Elections on election day Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Several area political officeholders intend to seek re-election in 2022, and some are preparing now by loading their campaigns’ coffers, according to financial reports filed with the county and state.

Semiannual campaign finance reports, which indicate political fundraising activity since the last filed report, were due Friday. Legislative candidates and officeholders, people who hold countywide non-judicial offices, non-candidate political action committees, and political party accounts are required to file the semi-annual report.

All three Ohio House members, which were elected in 2020, have confirmed with the Journal-News they’re seeking re-election in 2022.

The campaign committee for Rep. Jennifer Gross, R-West Chester Twp., reported raising $475 in the last several months and has nearly $26,600 for a 2022 re-election bid. She said she has “unfinished work to do” for the 52nd House District and the state.

ExploreCheck out the House Bills introdouced by Rep. Jennifer Gross

Rep. Thomas Hall, R-Madison Twp., who represents the 53rd House District, didn’t have much campaign fundraising in the past several months, but the freshman lawmaker said his fundraising for the 2022 election will begin this fall.

“We didn’t want to have anything in the spring,” Hall said, referencing the uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic. But he said his campaign will have a “busy fall and a busy winter.”

With no organized fundraiser, Hall still raised nearly $6,200 in the first half of 2021. He’ll have more than $10,500 heading into the second half of the year.

ExploreCheck out the House Bills introduced by Rep. Thomas Hall

Rep. Sara Carruthers, R-Hamilton, who represents the 51st House District, has received $17,750 since mid-December, according to her campaign’s finance documents. Her campaign committee has more than $30,200 cash on hand.

Carruthers said there’s “too much to be done to stop now.”

ExploreCheck out the House Bills introduced by Rep. Sara Carruthers

Only two of the 11 countywide non-judicial officeholders are up for election in 2022. County Commissioner Cindy Carpenter and County Auditor Roger Reynolds are up for re-election.

Carpenter’s semiannual campaign finance report was not uploaded to the Butler County Board of Elections website by 4 p.m. but she’s historically a prolific fundraiser. In her 2018 campaign, she raised nearly $42,000 in her primary race against West Chester Twp. Trustee Lee Wong.

Carpenter, who will see re-election, said her first fundraiser for the 2022 campaign will be in September.

The campaign committee for Reynolds, who confirmed he’s seeking re-election, has the most money available among local candidates, according to the reports filed last week.

Heading into the second half of the year, he has $54,587.75 on hand. His campaign expended $700 in the past six months, giving a pair of fundraising contributions in March to fellow Republicans ― $500 for the Friends of Tom Farrell campaign and $100 for the Friends of Mary Swain campaign. The Reynolds campaign also donated $100 to the Butler County GOP.

Those running in 2022 aren’t the only candidates who needed to file a semiannual campaign finance report by Friday. State law also mandates any local candidate campaign committee that raised more than $10,000 since it either formed or filed its last report must also file.

Buck Rumpke, who announced in June he’s seeking a seat on the Liberty Twp. Board of Trustees, is the only local candidate required to file.

Rumpke loaned the Friends of Buck Rumpke campaign $30,000. The vice president of the Butler County Planning Commission is one of five candidates seeking a Liberty Twp. trustee seat which also features incumbent trustee Tom Farrell. Township Trustee Christine Matacic is not seeking re-election.

FACTS & FIGURES

Here are the campaign totals for Butler County’s three Ohio House members:

Rep. Sara Carruthers: Raised $17,750 since Dec. 12, 2020. $30,263 cash on hand

Rep. Jennifer Gross: Raised $475 since Dec. 12, 2020. $26,573 cash on hand

Rep. Thomas Hall: Raised $6,175 since Dec. 12, 2020. $10,576 cash on hand

Source: Ohio Secretary of State