- Associated Press - Thursday, April 24, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Republican Gov. John Kasich has spent more than $860,000, including on two early TV commercials, headed into May’s uncontested primary.

Campaign finance reports filed Thursday show the incumbent governor, who is sometimes mentioned as a presidential contender, with more than five times the money in the bank of his would-be Democratic challenger.

Kasich strengthened his fundraising lead during the reporting period the covers the past few months. Candidates last disclosed their campaigns’ financial activity on Jan. 31.

The governor added $1.5 million to his coffers and has now banked $8.5 million, compared with $1.5 million for his likely Democratic opponent, Ed FitzGerald.

FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga County executive, faces a primary challenge from Dayton activist Larry Ealy on May 6.

Democrats in three statewide races outraised incumbent Republicans for the campaign reporting period.

David Pepper, a Cincinnati lawyer, has raised about twice as much campaign money as Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine in 2014. But DeWine spent less and has almost double in the bank.

Democratic state Sen. Nina Turner of Cleveland had a strong showing against Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted, outraising him by $108,000. Though Husted reported almost $2.4 million on hand to Turner’s $494,000.

State Rep. John Patrick Carney, of Columbus, raised more than twice as much as the Republican he’s challenging, state Auditor Dave Yost. Still, Yost has about $180,000 more on hand to spend.

Democrat Connie Pillich was just behind Republican state Treasurer Josh Mandel in the contributions she received for the period.

Mandel raised about $592,000. Pillich, a state legislator from suburban Cincinnati, brought in roughly $539,000. Mandel has more than twice as much on hand than Pillich.

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