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These 10 Ohio donors gave over $2.3 million

In Ohio politics, state-level candidates and political action committees have received $64.2 million in total donations between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021. The 10 largest donors gave more than $2.3 million, or 4 percent of all contributions.

These are the top 10 individual donors to Ohio state-level candidates and political action committees (PACs) in the 2022 election cycle, according to the most recent campaign finance reports submitted to the Ohio Secretary of State:

Top 10 Ohio Donors (1/1/2021 – 12/31/2021)

RankDonor NameTotal Donations
1James B Renacci$1,080,649
2Ellen Dolores Rakowski$441,442
3Richard H Rosenthal$155,804
4Susan B and James A Haslam III$119,635
5Lisa Mennet$100,000
6Geraldine B Warner$86,204
7Brian Colleran$81,300
8Jason S Lucarelli$77,704
9See Upload Payroll Deductions$74,532
10Marianne E Gable$70,146

The list of Ohio donors in this time period includes more than 1,272 individuals identified by name in the Ohio Secretary of State’s public records.

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Ohio PACs submitted to the Ohio Secretary of State. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2021 Annual1/31/2022
2022 Pre-Primary4/21/2022
2022 Post-Primary6/10/2022
2022 Semiannual7/29/2022
2022 Pre-General10/27/2022
2022 Post-General12/16/2022

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



Seven candidates are running in the May 3 Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Ohio

Seven candidates are running in the May 3 Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Ohio on May 3, including Mike Gibbons, Josh Mandel, Jane Timken, and J.D. Vance. Incumbent Rob Portman (R), first elected in 2010, announced on Jan. 25, 2021, that he would not seek re-election.

Matt Dolan, Neil Patel, and Mark Pukita are also running in the primary. Gibbons, Mandel, Timken, and Vance have led in fundraising, endorsements, and polling.

Politico’s Alex Isenstadt wrote that “[t]he Senate race in Ohio is a high-profile example of how Trump is dominating Republican down-ballot primaries, and how his support is seen as make-or-break for those seeking the party’s nomination.”

Gibbons, a businessman and investor, says his background in the private sector has prepared him for the U.S. Senate: “My job was to go in and convince CEOs and CFOs that they could trust me to handle the most important transactions those companies would ever do. And I have to tell you, I think it’s great practice for the U.S. Senate.” Gibbons co-chaired former President Donald Trump’s (R) 2016 campaign in Ohio, and has said, “I don’t believe we had a president that did more for this country in my lifetime than Donald Trump did.” Gibbons also said, “the Republican Party is not about just Donald Trump, the Republican Party most carefully reflects my ideology which is, as I said philosophical conservatism.” Sen. Rand Paul (R) endorsed Gibbons.

Mandel served as Ohio treasurer from 2011 to 2019. Mandel said, “when I get to Washington, I’m not just going to drain the swamp, I’m going to blow up the swamp. And yes, I’ll be taking on the secular left, yes, I’ll be taking on the radical left. But with as much ferocity and strength and force, I’m going to take on the squishy establishment RINO Republicans,” a group he says includes Utah Sen. Mitt Romney (R), Wyoming Sen. Liz Cheney (R), and Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R). Mandel has also said, “there’s only one candidate that consistently says in every audience — whether it’s Hudson, Ohio, or Cincinnati, Ohio, or Toledo or Marietta — what I am about to say to you…that I believe the 2020 election was stolen from Donald J. Trump.” U.S. Sens. Mike Lee (R) and Cynthia Lummis (R) endorsed Mandel.

Timken has been the chair of the Ohio Republican Party since 2017. Timken said her experience leading the Ohio Republican Party shows that she can unite the party: “As soon as I became chair, I realized that I needed to bring people together. We had new Republicans that came into the party because of President Trump. We had some that drifted away. I successfully unified the party when I became chair, and so I have a real understanding of building a broad base and coalition of support. And that’s what I’ve been working on since I announced this campaign.” Timken has said she believes the November 2020 presidential election was marked by fraud and that she would not have voted to certify the election results. On Feb. 16, 2022, Portman endorsed Timken.

Vance served in the U.S. Marine Corps. from 2003 to 2007 before working in venture capital in San Francisco. In 2016, he wrote Hillbilly Elegy, a memoir about growing up in Middletown, Ohio. Vance has campaigned on bringing manufacturing back to Ohio, fixing the country’s immigration system and completing the wall along the southern border, and breaking up large technology companies. Vance was critical of Trump in 2016 but has said, “I ask folks not to judge me based on what I said in 2016, because I’ve been very open that I did say those critical things and I regret them, and I regret being wrong about the guy. I think he was a good president, I think he made a lot of good decisions for people, and I think he took a lot of flak.” Sen. Josh Hawley (R) endorsed Vance.

In 2016, Portman defeated Ted Strickland (D) 58% to 37.2%. Sen. John H. Glenn Jr., who served from 1974 to 1999, was the last Democrat to hold the seat, serving from 1974 to 1999.

Donald Trump won Ohio by eight percentage points in 2016.



Republicans outraise Democrats by 130% in Ohio House races

Campaign finance requirements govern how much money candidates may receive from individuals and organizations, how often they must report those contributions, and how much individuals, organizations, and political entities may contribute to campaigns.

While campaign finance is not the only factor in electoral outcomes, successful fundraising can provide a candidate with advantages during a campaign. Fundraising can also indicate party momentum.

This article lists top fundraisers in the Ohio House of Representatives, overall and by party. It is based on campaign finance reports that officeholders in and candidates for the House submitted to the Ohio Secretary of State. It includes activity between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021.

Top fundraisers in the Ohio House of Representatives by party

The top fundraisers in Ohio House of Representatives elections are shown below. Individuals are presented with the office that they are on the ballot for in 2022, if applicable.

In the Democratic Party, the top fundraisers were:

  • Casey Weinstein – $94,694
  • Joseph A. Miller III – $75,123
  • Emilia Sykes – $69,862
  • Jessica Miranda – $60,787
  • Gavi Begtrup (District 26) – $56,621

In the Republican Party, the top fundraisers were:

  • Jay Edwards – $429,201
  • Bob Cupp – $330,751
  • Thomas Patton – $300,039
  • Jason Stephens – $233,402
  • Phil Plummer – $219,237

Fundraising totals

Overall, Democratic officeholders and candidates raised $1.10 million in this period. Republican officeholders and candidates raised $5.16 million. Combined, all House fundraisers in the January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2021, filing period raised $6.26 million.

The five largest Democratic fundraisers were responsible for 32 percent of all Democratic House fundraising. The five largest Republican fundraisers were responsible for 29 percent of all Republican House fundraising.

The table below provides additional data from the campaign finance reports from the top ten fundraisers during this period.

TOP TEN FUNDRAISERS – OHIO HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES (January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2021)

NameParty AffiliationRaisedSpent
Jay EdwardsRepublican Party$429,201$68,023
Bob CuppRepublican Party$330,751$154,545
Thomas PattonRepublican Party$300,039$187,196
Jason StephensRepublican Party$233,402$70,181
Phil PlummerRepublican Party$219,237$111,521
Jon CrossRepublican Party$215,456$85,222
Bill SeitzRepublican Party$180,222$146,520
Rick CarfagnaRepublican Party$177,638$101,429
Brian BaldridgeRepublican Party$175,476$28,033
Alessandro CutronaRepublican Party$151,039$15,070

Campaign finance reporting periods

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that candidate PACs submitted to the Ohio Secretary of State. 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. In 2022, Transparency USA will publish campaign finance data after the following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2021 Annual1/31/2022
2022 Pre-Primary4/21/2022
2022 Post-Primary6/10/2022
2022 Semiannual7/29/2022
2022 Pre-General10/27/2022
2022 Post-General12/16/2022

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



Republicans outraise Democrats by 155% in Ohio Senate races

Campaign finance requirements govern how much money candidates may receive from individuals and organizations, how often they must report those contributions, and how much individuals, organizations, and political entities may contribute to campaigns.

While campaign finance is not the only factor in electoral outcomes, successful fundraising can provide a candidate with advantages during a campaign. Fundraising can also indicate party momentum.

This article lists top fundraisers in the Ohio State Senate, overall and by party. It is based on campaign finance reports that officeholders in and candidates for the State Senate submitted to the Ohio Secretary of State. It includes activity between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021.

Top fundraisers in the Ohio State Senate by party

The top fundraisers in Ohio State Senate elections are shown below. Individuals are presented with the office that they are on the ballot for in 2022, if applicable.

In the Democratic Party, the top fundraisers were:

  • Nickie Antonio – $128,375
  • Kenny Yuko – $86,812
  • Vernon Sykes – $71,895
  • Hearcel Craig – $71,682
  • Teresa Fedor – $61,555

In the Republican Party, the top fundraisers were:

  • Matt Huffman – $874,464
  • Kristina Daley Roegner – $233,137
  • Jay Hottinger – $228,252
  • George Lang – $218,243
  • Theresa Gavarone – $206,782

Fundraising totals

Overall, Democratic officeholders and candidates raised $498,315 in this period. Republican officeholders and candidates raised $3.93 million. Combined, all State Senate fundraisers in the January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2021, filing period raised $4.43 million.

The five largest Democratic fundraisers were responsible for 84 percent of all Democratic State Senate fundraising. The five largest Republican fundraisers were responsible for 45 percent of all Republican State Senate fundraising.

The table below provides additional data from the campaign finance reports from the top ten fundraisers during this period.

TOP TEN FUNDRAISERS – OHIO STATE SENATE (January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2021)

NameParty AffiliationRaisedSpent
Matt HuffmanRepublican Party$874,464$530,188
Kristina Daley RoegnerRepublican Party$233,137$71,883
Jay HottingerRepublican Party$228,252$203,691
George LangRepublican Party$218,243$158,903
Theresa GavaroneRepublican Party$206,782$108,418
Robert McColleyRepublican Party$179,856$128,958
Jerry CirinoRepublican Party$174,200$64,478
Mark J. RomanchukRepublican Party$166,045$81,800
Steve WilsonRepublican Party$154,756$130,792
Matt DolanRepublican Party$135,800$224,496

Campaign finance reporting periods

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that candidate PACs submitted to the Ohio Secretary of State. 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. In 2022, Transparency USA will publish campaign finance data after the following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2021 Annual1/31/2022
2022 Pre-Primary4/21/2022
2022 Post-Primary6/10/2022
2022 Semiannual7/29/2022
2022 Pre-General10/27/2022
2022 Post-General12/16/2022

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



Three Republican candidates running to challenge Rep. Marcy Kaptur in Ohio’s 9th Congressional District

Three candidates—Theresa Gavarone, J.R. Majewski, and Craig Riedel—are running in the Republican primary election for Ohio’s 9th Congressional District on May 10, 2022. Incumbent Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D), the longest-serving woman in U.S. House history, was first elected in 1982 and is seeking re-election.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee listed Kaptur as a Frontline candidate, a distinction used to identify and support vulnerable Democratic incumbents.

Ohio is undergoing congressional redistricting, meaning the exact boundaries of the 9th District are currently unknown. The Crescent News‘ Todd Helberg wrote that recent proposals “substantially changed … the district that elected Democrat Marcy Kaptur … to Congress for years” by giving the district a more Republican lean.

Gavarone is a member of the Ohio State Senate. She was appointed to the office in 2019 after serving in the Ohio House of Representatives since 2016. In a campaign ad, Gavarone highlighted her legislative experience, saying that she “turned conservative principles into action,” and that she “pass balanced budgets, brought parents to the table to improve our schools, and defended our men and women in uniform.”

Majewski works in the nuclear industry in project management positions and served in the U.S. Air Force from 1999 to 2003. In a Candidate Connection survey submitted to Ballotpedia, Majewski described himself as “the America First Candidate” and said he would “Bring back good paying American jobs … Maintain a strong national defense and stop the endless wars.” Read his full responses here.

Riedel is a member of the Ohio House of Representatives where he was first elected in 2016. Riedel said Kaptur had been in office for too long and said, “I am sick and tired of career politicians … who always make promises, fail to deliver, then pass the buck,” adding that he would “work with President Trump and … the Freedom Caucus to push an America-first agenda.”

The winner of the primary will face Kaptur, who is running unopposed in the Democratic primary, and independent candidate Youseff Baddar.



Two candidates running in Ohio Secretary of State Republican primary election

Incumbent Frank LaRose and John Adams are running in the Republican Party primary for Ohio Secretary of State on May 3, 2022.

LaRose is a U.S. Army veteran and worked as a business manager and project lead for a consulting firm. He represented Ohio State Senate District 27 from 2011 to 2018, and was elected secretary of state in 2018, defeating Kathleen Clyde (D) 51% to 47%. LaRose has emphasized his experience in the Ohio Senate and as secretary of state, saying he “sponsored legislation to modernize online voter registration, audit election results to verify their accuracy, cut burdensome regulation on small business, and protect our freedoms and values.”

Adams is a U.S. Army and U.S. Navy veteran and founder of Francis Furniture Store. He represented Ohio House of Representatives District 85 from 2007 to 2014. Election security is a top priority for Adams, and he said “there were shenanigans that went on” in the 2020 election and “there are questions that have not been resolved yet.” Adams said he “has had the life experience – as a Navy SEAL, as a small businessman, as a civic leader, as a husband and father – to successfully protect and advance our common values.”

The secretary is the state’s chief election officer and keeper of the state seal. They license businesses and corporations and keep records of all official gubernatorial actions. A Republican has held the Ohio secretary of state office since 2010, when incumbent Jennifer L. Brunner (D) vacated the office and Jon Husted (R) defeated Maryellen O’Shaughnessy (D) 54% to 42%.



Incumbent Gov. Mike DeWine (R) faces primary challengers in May 3 election

Four candidates are running in the Republican primary election for governor of Ohio on May 3, 2022. Two candidates—incumbent Mike DeWine (R) and Jim Renacci (R)—have led the field in fundraising and media coverage. Politico’s Zach Montellaro and Michael Kruse wrote that the “primary could show just how far [support for Donald Trump (R)], even without the former president’s direct involvement, can take a challenger against a more traditional conservative governor who clashed with the most strident parts of the Republican base during the pandemic.”

Renacci criticized DeWine’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, saying DeWine “overreacted in his response to the COVID-19 pandemic” and that he “would never have done many of the draconian things that DeWine did.”

DeWine said he wanted to prevent coronavirus deaths because of his pro-life stance and that “[He] had an obligation to listen, which [he] did, to consult and then to make decisions that [he] thought were in the best interests of the people of Ohio.”

DeWine was first elected as governor in 2018. He defeated Mary Taylor (R) in the primary 60% to 40%. DeWine went on to defeat Richard Cordray (D) 50% to 47% in the general. Prior to his election as governor, he had won five statewide elections for other offices: two to serve as Ohio Attorney General, two to serve in the United States Senate, and one to serve as lieutenant governor. On his campaign website, DeWine says he “has governed as a compassionate conservative. He knows that when families are strong, Ohio communities are stronger.”

Renacci, a business owner, represented Ohio’s 16th Congressional District in Congress from 2011 to 2019. In 2018, he won the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, defeating Mike Gibbons (R) 47% to 32%. Renacci was defeated in the general election 53% to 47% by incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown (D). In a campaign ad, Renacci said: “We need to dump Ohio’s Cuomo, Mike DeWine, end his Trump-bashing reign, and elect an Ohio first conservative who fights for you. […] When Ohio is first, America is first.”

A Republican has held the Ohio governorship since 2011. The last time an incumbent governor was defeated in Ohio was in 2010, when John Kasich (R) defeated then-Gov. Ted Strickland (D).

In Ohio, gubernatorial candidates select lieutenant gubernatorial candidates as running mates. DeWine is running with incumbent Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted (R) and Renacci is running with film producer Joe Knopp (R).

Ron Hood and Joe Blystone are also running in the gubernatorial primary.



Four Democrats competing in primary for Ohio’s open U.S. Senate seat

Four candidates are running in the Democratic primary for Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat on May 3, 2022. Candidates Morgan Harper and Tim Ryan have received the most media attention. U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R), first elected in 2010, is not running for re-election.

Harper is an attorney and former advisor for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Harper is running on a plan she said would create 600,000 clean energy jobs, and would also include federal $15 minimum wage, the PRO Act, Medicare for All, and full student loan debt forgiveness. Harper told The New York Times that her campaign would aim to mobilize Black, women, and young voters. In 2020, Harper ran unsuccessfully for U.S. House in District 3 against U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty (D).

Ryan was elected to the U.S. House in 2002. Ryan has campaigned on a range of economic issues, including revitalizing the state’s manufacturing industry, a federal $15 minimum wage, the PRO Act, renegotiating existing foreign trade deals, and expanding affordable healthcare. Ryan told CNN that his campaign would “focus like a laser beam on workers.” Ryan was re-elected to represent District 13 in 2020 following an unsuccessful presidential campaign.

Harper and Ryan disagree most on healthcare policy. Harper supports Medicare for All, which would expand Medicare to cover all Americans and replace the existing private health insurance and marketplace options. Ryan supports the creation of a public option, an opt-in insurance plan that all Americans could join. In a 2019 presidential debate, Ryan called Medicare for All a potential disaster for the party. In October 2021, Harper said that universal healthcare was “the only way to protect workers.”

Also running in the primary are Traci Johnson and LaShondra Tinsley.

Donald Trump won Ohio by eight percentage points in 2016 and 2020. Portman won re-election in 2016 by 19 percentage points. Sherrod Brown (D), Ohio’s other U.S. Senator, last won re-election in 2018 by seven percentage points.



Ohio Secretary of State certifies marijuana legalization initiative to the state legislature

The Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) announced on Jan. 28 that an initiative proposing the legalization of marijuana had submitted enough valid signatures to be presented to the state legislature. 

The initiative would enact a state law to legalize the cultivation, processing, sale, purchase, possession, home growth, and use of recreational marijuana for adults 21 years of age or older. Adults would be authorized to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and up to 15 grams of marijuana concentrates. Individuals would be able to grow six marijuana plants at home or up to 12 plants per household. The initiative would also enact a 10% cannabis tax rate on adult-use sales and dedicate revenue to fund a cannabis social equity and jobs program.

In Ohio, initiated state statutes are indirect, meaning they must be considered by the state legislature. The legislature has four months to adopt, reject, or take no action on the measure. If the legislature rejects the measure or takes no action, sponsors have 90 days following the legislature’s four-month deadline to collect 132,887 additional signatures.

The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, the campaign behind the initiative, submitted an initial round of 206,943 signatures on Dec. 20, 2021. Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced on Jan. 3 that 119,825 signatures were valid–13,062 less than the number required. In Ohio, campaigns are given a one-week cure period to collect additional signatures, meaning the campaign had until Jan. 14, 2022, to submit additional signatures. The campaign announced on Jan. 13 that they had submitted an additional 29,918 signatures.

The secretary of state announced on Jan. 28 that the campaign had collected a total of 136,729 valid signatures, which means the campaign had a signature validity rate of 57.7%.

Tom Haren, a spokesman for the campaign, said, “We are ready and eager to work with Ohio legislators over the next four months to legalize the adult use of marijuana in Ohio.”

Ohio legalized medical marijuana in 2016. Ohio voters rejected a recreational marijuana initiative in 2015 by a margin of 63.65% to 36.35%.

Additional reading:



Ohio campaign aiming to legalize marijuana submits signatures to send the proposed measure to the state legislature

On Dec. 20, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted 206,943 signatures to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office for a ballot initiative aiming to legalize marijuana in the state. 

The measure is an indirect initiated state statute meaning that the state legislature will have an opportunity to pass the law without it going to the ballot. The required number of signatures to place the initiative before the state legislature is 132,887, which is 3% of the votes cast in the preceding gubernatorial election. The initiative petition must also meet the state’s signature distribution requirement, which requires that half of the signature requirement be met within at least 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties. If the state legislature does not act on the proposed law or rejects it, the campaign would have 90 days to collect an additional 132,887 signatures to place the measure on the November 2022 ballot.

The deadline for proposed initiated state statutes to file signature petitions was Dec. 24. The marijuana initiative was the only proposed state statute to be cleared for signature gathering by the Ohio Ballot Board.

Tom Haren, a spokesperson for the campaign, said, “The success of our petition drive shows just how eager Ohioans are to end prohibition and legalize the adult use of marijuana. We look forward to receiving the results of the Secretary of State’s review, and are eager to begin working with legislators on this important issue.” 

The initiative would enact a state law to legalize the cultivation, processing, sale, purchase, possession, home growth, and use of recreational marijuana for adults 21 years of age or older. Adults could possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and up to 15 grams of marijuana concentrates. Individuals would be able to grow six marijuana plants at home or up to 12 plants per household.

The initiative would also enact a 10% cannabis tax rate on adult-use sales with revenue to fund “a cannabis social equity and jobs program” to “provide financial assistance and license application support to individuals most directly and adversely impacted by the enforcement of marijuana-related laws.” It would also fund the community cannabis fund, the substance abuse and addiction fund, and the Division of Cannabis Control (established by the initiative to oversee the state’s cannabis industry).

In 2015, Ohio voters defeated an initiated constitutional amendment that would have legalized the limited sale and use of marijuana and created 10 facilities with exclusive commercial rights to grow marijuana. The vote margin was 63.65% to 36.35%. The initiative was sponsored by ResponsibleOhio PAC.

As of December 2021, 18 states and Washington, D.C., had legalized marijuana for recreational purposes: 12 through citizen initiatives, one through a legislatively referred constitutional amendment, and six through bills approved by state legislatures and signed by governors. An additional 13 states had decriminalized recreational marijuana usage. In those states, while recreational marijuana usage was illegal, violation typically results in a fine rather than arrest or jail time for first-time offenders.

Additional reading: