- Associated Press - Thursday, September 4, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald, during a blistering month of political blows and campaign departures, raised only about $111,000, about a tenth of what Republican Gov. John Kasich raised.

FitzGerald’s August fundraising total, reported Thursday, was dwarfed by Kasich’s more than $1.1 million in contributions for the month in a race in which the governor’s fundraising was already millions of dollars ahead.

Kasich’s campaign manager, Matt Carle, said it’s clear that support for the governor’s re-election “is only getting stronger by the day.”

“Thanks to the thousands of Ohioans who are helping our team, we have the resources needed to get out the vote and give Governor Kasich the opportunity to lead our state forward for another four years,” Carle said in a statement.

FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga County executive, announced toward the end of August that he planned to divert a significant amount of his campaign cash to Democrats’ coordinated get-out-the-vote efforts. The decision came after campaign troubles, including revelations that police in 2012 found FitzGerald in a parking lot at 4:30 a.m. with a woman who isn’t his wife and that he lacked a permanent driver’s license for more than a decade.



FitzGerald’s campaign spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said the campaign has weathered the storm and is ready to focus on the issues. She said 40 percent of August donations were from first-time givers and nearly all online donations came in response to emails pledging that FitzGerald would devote remaining resources on drawing attention to the plight of working residents.

“Despite the fact that the events of the last month largely prevented the campaign from spending time fundraising, everyday Ohioans showed that they are still invested in this race, and that they want a gubernatorial campaign focused on the issues that affect them,” she said in a statement.

Thursday’s campaign finance deadline required candidates to disclose their August contributions but not expenses. So it won’t be fully known how much money the candidates have in the bank until mid-October, just before the fall election.

Attorney General candidate David Pepper raised most for the month among Democratic challengers to Ohio’s all-Republican statewide line-up, logging more than $350,000 in donations. He’s challenging Republican Mike DeWine, who raised $455,000.

State Rep. John Patrick Carney, a Columbus Democrat, outraised the officeholder he’s challenging, Republican Auditor Dave Yost, by $36,000. Meanwhile, Republican Treasurer Josh Mandel and Democratic state Rep. Connie Pillich ran neck-and-neck in fundraising for the month, Mandel raising $243,000 to Pillich’s $231,000.

Democrats have pinned their hopes for fall victory on Carney and Pillich, whose opponents are considered most vulnerable among GOP incumbents.

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