Campaign finance requirements govern the raising and spending of money for political campaigns. While not the only factor in an election’s outcome, successful fundraising can provide a candidate with advantages, such as the ability to boost name recognition and promote a message. In addition, fundraising can indicate enthusiasm for candidates and parties.
This article lists the top individual fundraisers in Ohio by their party affiliation as well as the top ten fundraisers overall. It is based on campaign finance reports that active Ohio candidate political action committees (candidate PACs) submitted to the Ohio Secretary of State. It includes activity between Jan. 1, 2021, and June 30, 2021. Candidate PACs represent individuals who have run for state or local office at any point, including past and present officeholders. This article does not include non-candidate PACs.
Top Ohio Fundraisers
The top fundraisers in Ohio elections are shown below. For the purpose of this article, fundraisers may include individuals who are on the ballot this election cycle as well as those not currently running for office but who have received contributions during this reporting period. Individuals are listed with the office that they held at the time of publication, if applicable.
In the Democratic party, the top fundraisers in the most recent semiannual reporting period were:
- Nan Whaley – $1,193,508
- John Cranley – $998,075
- Nickie Antonio (State Senate, District 23) – $70,815
- Casey Weinstein (House of Representatives, District 37) – $48,298
- Joseph A. Miller III (House of Representatives, District 56) – $39,915
In the Republican party, the top fundraisers in the most recent semiannual reporting period were:
- Richard Michael DeWine (Governor) – $2,261,657
- Jim Renacci – $1,102,608
- Dave Yost (Attorney General) – $790,556
- Matt Huffman (State Senate, District 12) – $359,614
- Frank LaRose (Secretary of State) – $317,181
Overall, the top Ohio Democratic candidate PACs raised $2.35 million in this period. The top Republican candidate PACs raised $4.83 million. Ohio candidate PACs in the Jan. 1, 2021, through June 30, 2021, filing period raised a total of $10.60 million. Combined, these Ohio candidates account for 68% of total fundraising.
Contributions to the top five Democratic candidates made up 85% of the total amount reported by their party’s campaigns. Contributions to the top five Republican fundraisers comprised 62% of the total amount reported by Republican campaigns.
The table below provides additional data from the campaign finance reports from the top ten fundraisers. For more information on fundraising and spending for Ohio races on the 2022 ballot, click here.
|Name||Party Affiliation||Raised this period||Spent this period|
|Richard Michael DeWine||Republican Party||$2,261,657||$150,866|
|Nan Whaley||Democratic Party||$1,193,508||$479,016|
|Jim Renacci||Republican Party||$1,102,608||$14,409|
|John Cranley||Democratic Party||$998,075||$204,252|
|Dave Yost||Republican Party||$790,556||$29,983|
|Matt Huffman||Republican Party||$359,614||$25,117|
|Frank LaRose||Republican Party||$317,181||$148,671|
|Joe Blystone||Republican Party||$286,086||$123,927|
|Keith Faber||Republican Party||$254,010||$22,795|
|Robert Sprague||Republican Party||$230,184||$36,187|
Campaign Finance Reporting Periods
The reports filed with the Ohio Secretary of State cover Jan. 1, 2021, through June 30, 2021. Candidate PACs in Ohio must file semiannual financial reports of their fundraising and campaign spending. During election years, candidate PACs also file additional financial reports before primary and general elections.
The next semiannual campaign finance reporting deadline for Ohio legislators and candidates will include activity between July 1, 2021, and Dec. 31, 2021.
This article was published in partnership with Transparency USA. Click here to learn more about that partnership.