Campaign spending ramps up for Butler County races

Ohio Statehouse candidate Kathy Wyenandt out-spent and out-raised incumbent George Lang in their bid for the 52nd Ohio House District seat — according to campaign finance reports filed Thursday.

Thursday was the pre-general election filing deadline for state and local campaigns of candidates seeking office in the Nov. 6 election. Campaigns are required to report spending and fund raising of $1,000 or more from June 9 — the day after the post-primary report — through Oct. 17. Butler County voters will decide three Statehouse races and the race for a Butler County Commission seat.

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The 52nd Ohio House race has been shaping up to be the most expensive among the Butler County races, and one of the most expensive among candidates seeking a Statehouse seat.

Wyenandt raised more than $72,200 from June 9 to Oct. 17 from 386 donations. Seven, totaling $13,270, were from herself or her family. She out-raised incumbent Ohio Rep. George Lang, R-West Chester Twp., by $18,300 and out-spent him by more than $30,700. Lang raised more than $53,900 and spent $41,100, according to the spending reports.

Lang still holds a year-to-date spending and fund raising advantage. In 2018, Lang has raised nearly $232,700 and spent nearly $185,800, while Wyenandt has raised nearly $162,000 and spent more than $105,800 on this race.

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The 52nd Ohio House District includes all or parts of Fairfield Twp., Liberty Twp., West Chester Twp., Hamilton and Sharonville.

In the race for the 51st Ohio House saw similar fund raising totals between Republican candidate Sara Carruthers and Democratic candidate Susan Vaughn. Carruthers raised more than $13,800 from 33 contributions while Vaughn had more than $13,100 in donations from 99 contributors.

The 51st District represents Hamilton, Fairfield and Ross Twp., among other areas.

But Carruthers outspent Vaughn by a two-to-one margin with the help of a $50,000 personal loan Carruthers gave her own campaign. That brings her total to $300,000 she’s loaned her campaign. Vaughn has loaned her campaign $4,700, $2,100 of which was given during this pre-general reporting period.

Carruthers defeated incumbent, Ohio Rep. Wes Retherford, R-Hamilton, in the May primary election on the heels of spending around $200,000 on television commercials.

In the 53rd Ohio House District race Democratic challenger Rebecca Howard, of Reily Twp. has out-raised incumbent Ohio Rep. Candice Keller, R-Middletown. Howard has received more than $11,300 from 30 donors while Keller has raised $2,630 from six donors, most of which are political committees.

The 53rd District represents northern and western Butler County.

Most of Keller’s campaign money has come from Keller and her husband, Kent, who has given more than $35,000 in loans to the campaign. They gave $21,500 during this reporting period.

Howard is at a five-to-one disadvantage to Keller as she has more than $$4,200 cash-on-hand while Keller has $22,500.

In the Butler County Commission race, incumbent Commissioner Cindy Carpenter reported she raised no money during this finance reporting period, though she did have more than $7,000 cash on hand and spent more than $3,200. Her opponent, Dora Bronston, the former Middletown vice mayor, raised $2,560 from 11 contributors. In all, according to the report, she had more than $3,100 available to spend and spent all but $100.

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