Butler County Democrat outraises 2 of her 3 Republican counterparts in House race

Susan Vaughn, the lone Democrat seeking the 51st Ohio House District seat, outraised two of her three Republican counterparts ahead of the May 8 primary election. But she couldn’t out-fundraise incumbent Rep. Wes Retherford, R-Hamilton, according to campaign finance reports filed Thursday.

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Vaughn will face off in November with the winner of the three-way GOP primary that includes Retherford, Sara Carruthers and Greg Jolivette.

All four are vying to win election to represent Ohio’s 51st House District, which includes, among other areas, Hamilton, Fairfield and Ross Twp.

The pre-primary reports show fundraising and spending between Jan. 1 and April 18. For committees that didn’t file annual reports, the activity window covers Dec. 8, 2017 to April 18.

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Here are the highlights:

• Carruthers raised $3,500 from 15 contributors, most of whom are involved in Butler County Republican politics. She has invested $180,000 of her money and has spent nearly all that — $176,300 — on TV ads.

• Of Retherford’s $13,000 in campaign donations, he received $500 Ohio Automobile Dealers Association, $1,000 from the Ohio Dental Association and the law firm $500 from Taft, Stettinius & Hollister’s Better Government Fund. Retherford’s largest expense is a $10,000 donation to the Ohio Republican House Caucus, but his next largest expense was a $2,100 advertising payment. He also received $3,300 in in-kind donations from the Ohio Republican Party, which endorsed Retherford, and $1,000 in in-kind donations from the Ohio Republican House Caucus.

• Jolivette didn’t spend or raise as much as his counterparts, but did spend $3,848 after raising $1,550 and loaning his campaign $9,000. Jolivette’s campaign contributions were small, the largest being a pair of $250 donations, three of the 11 donations were from Jolivette, which is in addition to the loan to his campaign. Most of Jolivette’s spending went to yard signs, but a significant portion went toward printing and postage for mailers.

• Vaughn spent $2,900 of the $3,756 raised in her uncontested Democratic primary. Most of her campaign’s money was spent on 1,000 yard signs. Outside of a pair of $500 donations from relatives, Vaughn’s campaign didn’t have a donation greater than $250. She had 44 total donors.

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