Tagohio

Stories about Ohio

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:



Ohio enacts new congressional map

Ohio Governor Mike Dewine (R) signed a new congressional map into law on Nov. 20, 2021, making Ohio the 15th state to enact a congressional map during the 2020 redistricting cycle. This map takes effect for Ohio’s 2022 congressional elections. In the 2010 redistricting cycle, Ohio enacted its Congressional map on Sept. 26, 2011, 55 days earlier than in this cycle.

The Ohio State Senate voted 24-7 to approve the congressional map on Nov. 16, and the Ohio House of Representatives approved the map in a 55-36 vote on Nov. 18. The Senate vote was strictly along party lines, with 24 Republicans voting in favor and seven Democrats voting against. In the House, 55 Republicans voted to approve the map, while five Republicans and 31 Democrats voted against the map. Since the map did not receive approval from one-half of the Democratic lawmakers, the map is set to only last for four years, rather than 10. 

DeWine released a statement after he signed the map into law, saying: “When compared to the other proposals offered from House and Senate caucuses, both Republican and Democrat, the map in Senate Bill 258 makes the most progress to produce a fair, compact, and competitive map.” Democratic lawmakers criticized the map, with Rep. Richard Brown (D) saying: “In my view, this was done for purely partisan political advantage, which is classic gerrymandering. It is sad and unfortunate that we are here at this point today. The people of Ohio deserve so much more.”

This map was passed 10 days ahead of the third and final deadline for congressional map enactment in Ohio. The legislature did not enact a map before the initial Sept. 30 deadline, and the Ohio Redistricting Commission did not enact a map before the second deadline of Oct. 31. Ohio’s legislative maps were enacted by the Redistricting Commission on Sept. 15, and are also set to last for four years.



Redistricting committees appointed, adjourned, and change in Ohio, New Mexico, and Utah

Here’s a summary of recent redistricting committee updates from Ohio, New Mexico, and Utah.

In Ohio, the state legislature announced members of the Joint Committee on Redistricting, which will be holding two hearings on congressional redistricting proposals before the Nov. 30 deadline for map enactment. The committee’s members are Sen. Theresa Gavarone (R), Sen. Rob McColley (R), Sen. Vernon Sykes (D), Rep. Beth Liston (D), Rep. Scott Oelslager (R), and Rep. Shane Wilkin (R). Sykes is the only member of the joint committee who was also a member of the Ohio Redistricting Commission.

The New Mexico Citizen Redistricting Committee adjourned on Oct. 29 after submitting its final set of map recommendations to the legislature. The commission’s proposals do not bind the state legislature, which retains the authority to adopt, amend, or discard the proposals as it sees fit. Additionally, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) has veto authority over the maps. The legislature is expected to convene in December to begin considering proposals.

In Utah, former U.S. Rep. Bob Bishop (R-Utah) resigned from the state’s Independent Redistricting Commission on Oct. 26. Bishop said the commission favored urban areas and that the commission “is a metro-centric group. […] The majority are from Salt Lake County, we see things in a different way.” The executive director of Better Boundaries, an organization that supported the ballot proposition creating the commission, said: “We are encouraged by the work of the remaining six commissioners to suggest objective and qualified maps to the state legislative redistricting committee through this fair and transparent process.” On Oct. 29, Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson (R) appointed former Utah Commissioner of Agriculture and Food Logan Wilde (R) to replace Bishop on the commission.

Additional reading: