Ohio Senate race: Lang raises 11 times as much as Keller, Wong combined

Pictured are the GOP’s announced Ohio Senate candidates: From left, Ohio Rep. George Lang, R-West Chester Twp., Ohio Rep. Candice Keller, R-Middletown, and West Chester Twp. Trustee Lee Wong. PROVIDED

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Pictured are the GOP’s announced Ohio Senate candidates: From left, Ohio Rep. George Lang, R-West Chester Twp., Ohio Rep. Candice Keller, R-Middletown, and West Chester Twp. Trustee Lee Wong. PROVIDED

Ohio Rep. George Lang has raised 11 times as much as his two GOP opponents for an Ohio Senate seat combined as early voting in the March primary begins later this month.

Lang, R-West Chester Twp., raised nearly $203,400 — the third most of all Ohio Senate candidates — and spent about half that amount over the past six months, according to his annual campaign finance report filed on Friday.

His two opponents, Ohio Rep. Candice Keller, R-Middletown, and West Chester Twp. Trustee Lee Wong, raised $12,135 and $6,300, respectively, over the same period, according to their reports.

Lang, Keller and Wong are competing for the 4th Ohio Senate District, which represents most of Butler County. The Senate seat is open as incumbent Sen. Bill Coley, R-Liberty Twp., is ineligible to seek another term due to term limits.

 

Both Lang and Keller elected to run for Ohio Senate over seeking re-election to their respective House seats. Wong is a four-term West Chester Twp. trustee.

Lang’s biggest of his 200-plus contributions came from long-time GOP benefactress and heiress Ginni Ragan, of Columbus. She gave Lang nearly $13,300 at the beginning of January. She contributed to Lang in 2017 and 2018 and has been a GOP financial backer for decades, giving more than $1.5 million to state and federal Republican candidates and organizations since 2010.

Frederick Holzberger, a Fairfield resident who owns Aveda Fredric’s Institute in West Chester Twp., gave $12,500 to Lang. He also previously donated to Lang’s campaign.

He received a pair of $10,000 donations from Kevin O'Kane, president of Pennsylvania-based J&K Consultants.

Lang brought forward $35,749 from his semi-annual report filed in July and has more than $136,500 cash on hand.

Keller, who gave her campaign a $90,000 loan last June, received a pair of $1,000 donations but most of her 130 contributions were at or below $500.

More than 90 percent of Keller’s contributions were at or below $100.

Keller has spent more than $102,000 on her campaign, $94,250 of which was to repay campaign loans to herself and her husband, Kent Keller, Sr., in the past six months. Her campaign has $16,700 cash on hand.

Wong’s largest contribution was $500 from a businessman, and 27 of his 42 donations were at or below $100.

Wong brought forward $30,100 from his semi-annual report. He’s spent just $4,600 and has $31,800 cash on hand.

The winner of the Republican primary will face Democrat Kathy Wyenandt, who raised $62,150 over the past six months. She has spent $42,000 and has nearly $36,400 cash on hand.

Wyenandt received more than 400 contributions since July 1 ranging from $12,500 from a relative to $2. More than 140 of her contributions were at or below $25.

Wyenandt also received $2,500 in October from the campaign of the late former Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune, who died last month.

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Ohio Senate Democratic candidate Kathy Wyenandt, of Liberty Twp., will face in November the winner GOP primary for the 4th Ohio Senate District. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/FILE

Ohio Senate Democratic candidate Kathy Wyenandt, of Liberty Twp., will face in November the winner GOP primary for the 4th Ohio Senate District. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/FILE

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Ohio Senate Democratic candidate Kathy Wyenandt, of Liberty Twp., will face in November the winner GOP primary for the 4th Ohio Senate District. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/FILE

Voter registration for the March 17 primary election ends on Feb. 18. Early voting begins the next day on Feb. 19.

Ohio voters can register to vote online. Click here to register now.

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